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Dublin Festival of History 2014

Dublin Heritage: The life history of a city


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When the Vikings founded the city in the ninth century in the area of the “black pool” (Dubh Linn in Irish) where Dublin Castle is today, they started what would later become the capital of Ireland and the largest city in the country. Dublin is a key to understanding Ireland; the history of this city helps us to better understand the history of the whole of the country, its development, its cultural features, its social composition and the political peculiarities in Ireland.

While we are walking through the streets of the city and we see the historical buildings and places, we realise the cultural wealth that this city has to offer. Nothing remains visible from the period before the Viking settlement except what you can see in the collections, exhibitions or museums in the city (the most important being the National Museum in Kildare Street). But it was with the Vikings, as we said before, that the city began its development. They ruled the city until 1014, when they were defeated by the Irish King Brian Boru in the famous Battle of Clontarf, near Dublin. Although they had lost their political supremacy, they remained in the city some more years with commerce as their principal activity. Then Ireland was invaded by the Anglo-Normans and in 1171, Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Leinster, and Strongbow conquered Dublin and expelled the Vikings from the city. The following year Dublin received a City Charter from King Henry II; it was the beginning of the English rule of Ireland. Then Dublin Castle, built in 1204 by direct order of King John of England, became the centre of English power. Read more »

Remembering the First World War

The first shots of what became known as the First World War were fired on 28th July 1914. Over the next four years of war over 200,000 Irish men served in the British Army. Dublin City Public Libraries & Archive will be marking the Great War and Dubliners’ role in it, drawing on our extensive collections with a series of events and exhibitions, reading lists and digitisation projects.

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Going Places with Books - Summer Reading Challenge

Going Places with Books, Summer Reading BuzzYesterday (Wednesday, 30th of July), the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan launched the Public Libraries' Summer Reading Programme in the Central Library, ILAC Centre, Dublin.
(View the photo slideshow below)

The Summer Reading Programme runs in public libraries across the country every July and August and is a hugely popular and successful reading event for children of all ages and abilities. Each child chooses the books they wish to read, keeps a record of their progress and gets recognition for each step along the way. At the end of the challenge, all children who have read the target number of books get a certificate of achievement at a special awards event.

Here in Dublin...

Here in Dublin City Libraries, together with our library colleagues in Kildare, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-RathdownSouth Dublin and Longford, we run the hugely popular 'Going Places with Books' Summer Reading Buzz (see right). Read more »

cult films

 Some films have a certain quality about them that keeps bringing people back to them. There are many of them (Clerks, The Big Lebowski, even The Sound of Music, and pretty much anything by Ed Wood). The best definition I’ve seen is ‘a mix of the brilliant and absurd’: they’re offbeat, eccentric, goofy, yet usually have a warmth to them; and they attract an audience that regards them affectionately, watches them time and time again, and knows all the good lines off by heart. It’s a communal thing. Welcome to the world of cult films. Read more »

The Yeats Sisters and the Cuala Press

YC001 Dawn Song

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At the same time as the Celtic Revival during the late 19th - early 20th centuries, the Arts & Crafts Movement was making its way across Europe. This movement saw an international increase in the making and purchasing of handmade things and included ‘cottage industries’ such as stained glass, woodworks, ceramics, tapestries, and more. The Yeats family, in particular, was greatly involved in several aspects of both the Celtic Revival and the Arts & Crafts Movement. While W.B. was making his mark in the literary world and Jack was working as an artist and illustrator, the Yeats sisters, Lily and Elizabeth, were running their own businesses. Read more »

Welcome to the new elephant calf in Dublin Zoo!

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New baby elephant. Image: Dublin ZooWe are very excited to hear about the new arrival at Dublin Zoo, where a bull elephant calf was born on Thursday, 17 July 2014. Congratulations to mum Yasmine, dad Upali and Dublin Zoo! The as yet unnamed calf has already met the rest of the herd and is busy exploring his new home, the Kaziranga Forest Trail. If you plan to visit the elephants, Dublin Zoo recommend coming to hear the keeper's talk ‘Elephant Encounters’ which happens at 12.30pm every day so you can learn more about Asian Elephants.

Image: Dublin Zoo

If your family has caught the elephant bug why not pop down to Dublin City Public Libraries and check out some of our great elephant reads for children. We have put together an elephants reading list on our online catalogue to help you choose. Read more »

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