Decade of Centenaries: Letters of 1916 project launched

By Irish Research Council

Posted: 28 June, 2016

The Letters of 1916 project, one of the most successful crowdsourcing projects ever conducted in Ireland, has created a digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising. This includes letters held at institutions in Ireland and abroad alongside those in private collections.

Hundreds of letters connect thousands of lives commenting upon a myriad of topics including the Easter Rising, literature, art, the Great War, politics, business and ordinary life. Letters of 1916 adds a new perspective to the events of the period, a confidential and intimate glimpse into early 20th century life in Ireland, as well as how Ireland was viewed abroad.

On 2 March 2016, the project launched its discovery database providing unrivaled access to the hopes and dreams, frustrations and joys, of those living a century ago. Project leader Professor Susan Schreibman, who conceived the Letters of 1916 project three years ago, said ‘I am really gratified that it has captured the public imagination so much. It has given people a chance to engage with the past’.

‘Rising in Transition’ year project

The ‘Rising in Transition’ year project was developed by the Letters of 1916, with funding from the Irish Research Council. The project provides 1916-themed lesson plans for transition year students, developed during a collaborative workshop attended by teachers, historians, archivists and digital humanities academics. The wide and varied range of skills and experience helped to develop an important and creative resource for teachers and students alike.

The varied subjects and themes based on the 1916 rising will encourage students to engage with 1916 through a variety of subjects including history, drama, literature and Irish. The lesson plans will also assist teachers to utilise these critical and nationally important primary sources and provide for constructive engagement with their students.

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