Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Photographs of Claddagh Village, 1939



In 1939 Dr. Heinrich Becker came to Galway to begin his studies on folklore associated with the Galway Bay area. The first place he visited was Claddagh village, where he gathered folklore associated with the long fishing tradition of the Claddagh.
As well as talking to people from the locality, he also brought he camera, taking snapshots of the Village at an interesting time, when it was in transition from the traditional fishing village at the edge of Galway - almost a place apart - being transformed by the social housing programme of the late 1930s brought in by the government.
 
As well as examples of the new housing, he also took photographs of examples of the older houses, many of which were abandoned at that stage.
 
In the background of some of the photographs shows the well-known Long Walk across the river Corrib from the Claddagh.

Perhaps one of the nicest photographs shows three boys in the corner of the photograph peering intently into the window of a sweet shop.
There are over 10,000 photographs, slides, negatives and contact prints in the collection, and it is the intention to have these described, scanned, and available for consultation in the coming months. In the meantime keep an eye on the blog here for more photographs from this fascinating collection.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Celebrating all things Joyce this Bloomsday

Front cover of 'Pomes Penyeach'
To celebrate this Bloomsday, we are looking beyond Ulysses and to some other Joycean treasures present in the collections of the Hardiman Library. One such item is an original, autographed edition of a collection of poems written by James Joyce entitled Pomes Penyeach. The volume also features intricate and ornate illustrations by James' daughter, Lucia Joyce. The volume, which contains the Galway-themed poem, She Weeps Over Rahoon, was donated to the Hardiman Library by Joyce himself in 1935.

 The book was published by Obelisk Press, which was run by Jack Kahane, an admirer of Joyce’s work, and by Desmond Harmsworth. Editions of the book were signed by James Joyce and offered for sale at £12. Joyce sent copies to other authors and contacts in the publishing world and his letter notes that the book was deposited in the British Museum Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale.
Joyce personally sent a copy of Pomes Penyeach to the Hardiman Library of NUI Galway and a manuscript letter by Joyce sent to Prof. John Howley, University Librarian, was written in August 1935, accompanied the book.

In the letter Joyce indicates that his uncle-in-law, Michael Healy, had requested him to send a copy of the special edition of Pomes Penyeach to the Library. Joyce states that he was doing so not only because the illustrator was a “grand-daughter of Galway” and the bearer of one of the ancient tribal names but also as a token of appreciation of the support he had received over the years from Michael Healy himself.
Manuscript inscription byJames Joyce, limited edition of 'Pomes Penyeach'


The book is a beautiful reminder of the connection of Joyce to the City of Galway in his personal life through his relationship with Nora Barnacle and also in literary means, through She Weeps Over Rahoon and also as through numerous scenes and references in Joyce's masterful short story, the Dead.


Happy Bloomsday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Remembering Jean Ritchie: Legendary folk singer and collector

The American folk singer Jean Ritchie died on the 1st of June at the age of 92. One of the major figures  in the American folk and Appalachian song movement she was famed for her pure voice, dulcimer playing, songwriting and influential books on the American song tradition.

She composed her own songs, many of which were recorded by such diverse artists as Johny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton.  In 1952 she toured Ireland with her husband the photographer George Pickow researching the ballads that she had grown up singing in her Kentucky home.

The remarkable photographs taken by George Pickow were acquired by the Library in 1996 and have since been digitised as one of the online archival collections. Last March the Library launched the inaugural Jean Ritchie memorial lecture in her honour. The acclaimed Appalachian author Silas House spoke about the close links between the Irish and Appalachian traditions that Jean Ritchie and George Pickow so responded to.



The Guardian newspaper obituary provides a full account of her life and accomplishments.  In addition, Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín wrote an appreciation of George Pickow, published in the Irish Times, 14 February, 2011

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Best of Luck to all in Exams!

To all students facing the upcoming exams, we wish you the very best of luck! A quick look back in the College calendars, published annually since Queen's College Galway was first opened in 1849, show all rules and regulations for students facing exams. This example, from 1898, shows, with the exception of 'No smartphones, tablets or devices allowed', very little has changed!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lunchtime Lecture - Arts of Travel: from Renaissance to Romanticism

Do join us this day week for what will be a very inspiring talk as part of our historical travel month. Professor Dan Carey,Director of the Moore Institute, NUI Galway, will look at a small selection of the myriad examples of travel writing in Special Collections. New justifications for travel emerged in the Renaissance which stressed the benefit of political and social observation and personal refinement afforded by venturing abroad. In the same era, the value of travel for advancing natural history emerged. The talk will examine traditions of secular travel and how they were later transformed in the Enlightenment and into the era of Romanticism.
All are welcome to the G011 Seminar Room in the Hardiman Building on Wednesday April 15th at 1pm.

A collection of voyages round the world, performed by royal authority : containing a complete historical account of Captain Cook’s first, second, third and last voyages, undertaken for making new discoveries. (London : Printed for A. Millar, 1790)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'Belonging' -Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights, NUI Galway, 9-11 July 2015

Galway International Summer School
on the Arts and Human Rights


“Belonging”


Exploring the intersection between the arts and human rights


The first Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights will take place from 9–11 July 2015 in National University of Ireland, Galway.  Co-directed by Prof. Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights and Dominique Bouchard, Curator at the Hunt Museum, it will bring together arts practitioners with human rights activists and scholars to explore their shared space.  Events will take the form of panel discussions, exhibitions and performances. 
 
The global theme for 2015 will be “Belonging”.  The Summer School will consist of keynote addresses, plenary discussions, and themed discussions on three parallel tracks – literature and human rights; the visual arts and human rights; and music and human rights.  The opening speaker will be the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights, Farida Shaheed.


For further information, navigate the tabs on the left hand side, or contact us through our contact page or atartsandhumanrights@gmail.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @AHRGalway for further updates.
The summer School is also featured on the Irish Centre for Human Rights Facebook page.