Monday, April 12, 2010

Archives in Crises


I attended a meeting on the current crisis in the national archives in TCD on 10/4/2010. The purpose of the meeting was to communicate to a wider public the current crisis state of Irish national archives; oppose the madcap scheme to merge the National Libary, National Archives and the Manuscripts Commission; and start a widely based and organised campaign to remedy the situation.

The occasion was organised by Dr. Peter Crooks of TCD and chaired by Professor Diarmaid Ferriter of UCD. Speakers were Caitríona Crowe, from the National Archives, speaking in her capacity as chair of that branch of Impact; Fintan O'Toole, author and journalist; and Professor Eunan O'Halpin of TCD.

The Robert Emmet Theatre in TCD was packed well beyond its normal 190 capacity by an audience of young, old and in between. It could have been even more packed had it not been for the large numbers who were turned away at the door by security staff.

This response to the advance publicity for the occasion was a ringing endorsement of Diarmaid Ferriter's contention that the archives were a national issue and not just something to be put on the backburner.

You can get a flavour of the occasion from Lisa Marie Griffith's report and Kevin O'Sullivan's interview with Peter Crooks immediately following the meeting.

Dr Peter Crooks spells out further background to the crisis and references other sources. A further piece by O'Toole not covered in the references.


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