New Inspiring Ireland 1916 Public Memorabilia Collection Days in London & New York!

Following the success of recent Inspiring Ireland 1916 public memorabilia 'collection days' in Dublin, the Digital Repository of Ireland is delighted to announce that it is holding more collection day events abroad. The first of these innovative events took place in the Embassy of Ireland in London on Saturday, March 19, 2016. It was organized in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland in Great Britain and Irish in Britain, the leading network for Irish community organisations and Irish individuals in Britain. The network and its Members are the foundation of Irish community life in Britain and their mission is to make a difference to the lives and experiences of Irish people across Britain. READ MORE


The next Inspiring Ireland collection day event takes place in New York on April 17. This exciting event will enable members of the public to share their personal objects (such as letters, diaries, photographs and ephemera) and family stories related to events in Ireland during 1916, and to have this material digitised by experts, free of charge, for preservation and display within the DRI repository and Inspiring Ireland sites. Inspiring Ireland 1916 collection days are supported by the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and are part of Ireland 2016, the official programme to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. (Details:


Inspiring Ireland collection days are very much about serendipity and the Dublin and London events have uncovered objects and stories that have lain hidden in attics and under beds for almost a century. More than one hundred fascinating objects have already been gathered at events held in the National Library of Ireland, material that first came to public attention at RTÉ's 'Road to the Rising' event on Easter Monday 2015. These very personal stories and objects include the diary of Herbert Fitzgerald, a student at Trinity College in 1916 and neighbour of Hannah and Francis Sheey Skeffington, who recorded the events he witnessed on Easter Monday. Other contributions reveal poignant stories from Frongoch internees for example, an 'autograph' book kept by Irish Volunteer Mortimer O'Connell (later clerk of the Dáil) complete with a love poem he and his future wife exchanged. Still more trace the impact of the Rising for example, another 'autograph' book, this time from Ballykinlar Camp, Co. Down where Seán Lemass was imprisoned in 1920. One of the most remarkable contributions to Inspiring Ireland 1916 is the crucifix used by Fr. Sebastian O'Brien the Dublin-born Capuchin friar who ministered to Joseph Plunkett as he awaited execution in Kilmainham Jail on 4 May 1916. It came from the family who have been its custodians since the donor's grandfather, an altar boy in the Capuchin friary on Church Street, Dublin, received it from Fr. O’Brien. 


Digitised public memorabilia gathered at national and international Inspiring Ireland collection days will be published online in phases up to May 31 alongside the site's seven thematic exhibitions. Bringing family history together with material from the digitised collections of the National Archives, Library and Museum, and RTÉ Archives, allows Inspiring Ireland 1916 to tell the public and private stories of this seminal period in Irish history to a global audience. Inspiring Ireland is powered by the infrastructure of the Digital Repository of Ireland, which means that digitised 1916 content will be preserved for long-term access and discovery in a certified, trusted, digital repository so that it continues to be available for the next 100 years and beyond. 



The Inspiring Ireland 1916 New York collection day takes place in Glucksman Ireland House, New York City on Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 1pm to 6pm. It is organized in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland in New York and Glucksman Ireland House, the centre for Irish and Irish-American Studies at New York University. Glucksman Ireland House provides access to Irish and Irish-American culture and fosters excellence in the study of Ireland, Irish America, and the global Irish Diaspora. More information on Glucksman Ireland House (Tel. 00 1 212 998-3952)



Inspiring Ireland 1916 Collection day appointments are allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis. Click on your preferred location to register. If you are unable to attend in person please email for a Submission Form.