The Irish Ancestral Research Association|
Marta Crilly is the Assistant Archivist at the City of Boston Archives. Marta spoke about the holdings of the City of Boston Archives, highlighting records of particular interest to Irish-American research. She showed examples of many of the records available from schools, tax registers, and maps, plus the extensive collection of old photographs the Archives staff has posted on Flickr. The web site for these photos is flickr.com/cityofbostonArchives.
Marie Daly, founder of TIARA and longtime NEHGS Library Director, presented Tracing Irish Domestic Servants. A number of Boston area case studies were discussed. Dr. Paula de Fougerolles, noted writer with a doctorate in Medieval History from the University of Cambridge, spoke about the history and archeology that inspired her to create The Chronicles of Iona, a historical-fiction series set in Ireland and Scotland in the 6th century. After the morning presentations, participants were invited to use the NEHGS research library for the rest of the day.
Grace Brady, executive director of the Great Hunger Museum, introduced the audience to the museum, which is home to the world's largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine. The museum's collection focuses on the famine years from 1845-52, when blight destroyed virtually all of Ireland's potato crops for consecutive years. The crop destruction, coupled with British governmental indifference to the plight of the Irish, who at the time were part of the United Kingdom, resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million Irish men, women and children and the emigration of more than 2 million to nations around the world. This tragedy occurred even though there was more than adequate food in the country to feed its starving populace. Exports of food and livestock from Ireland actually increased during the years of the Great Hunger. Works by noted contemporary Irish artists will be featured at the museum, including internationally known sculptors John Behan, Rowan Gillespie and Eamonn O'Doherty; as well as contemporary visual artists, Robert Ballagh, Alanna O'Kelly Brian Maguire and Hughie O'Donoghue. Featured paintings also will include several important 19th and 20th-century works by artists such as James Brenan, Daniel MacDonald, James Arthur O'Connor and Jack B. Yeats.
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