Category: Archives

0

On the importance of local history

This summer holiday I have read 156 copies of my local paper on microfilm. Amidst the tedium of adverts for a brand new Asda, celebrations of newly-weds and asbestos scandals, the local Gazette has given me an invaluable insight into the relationship between local and national politics in the 1980s....

0

The Sources Don’t Exist: What to do When your Primary Research Doesn’t Go to Plan

When I started my PhD in January 2015 I had no illusions that it was going to be straightforward – I knew it would be challenging, stressful and downright frustrating, yet also intellectually stimulating, motivating and, above all, worth it. Many PhD students encounter problems during their research; it’s part...

0

Working in the Radio Archives

50 years ago, radio was people’s main source of entertainment and information. Tuning in was easier than reading the paper and more common than watching TV. Historians today cannot afford to ignore that fact. But radio archives remain a little known and underused resource. What do they have to offer?...

1

The Communist Table Tennis Conspiracy

On the 8th of November 1932, Major Valentine Vivian, head of MI6’s counter-espionage unit, received a curious message from his subordinates. The reason for the message, his staff noted, ‘will appear to you rather quaint.’ However quaint it may have seemed, it soon became clear that a communist plot was...

0

A First Foray into the Archives…

It feels as though it’s taken me an absurdly long time to get around to doing any archival research. Not that I’m labouring under that old Rankean delusion that the archive is where true historians are forged – I’m not really a historian by training, and have never learnt enough...

0

The Atomic Bomb turns 70, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Today, and on August 9, we remember the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in all their devastation and the long term effects of radiation poisoning. A former British Army soldier (name removed for anonymity) reflected on the bombings, stating, “They were the best thing that could have happened to...

1

What’s in an Archive?

‘The archive,’ writes Michel Foucault, ‘is the first law of what can be written.’ In Ireland, where historical events play out in contemporary politics and collective memory is evoked in the street names of every city and town, even the primary materials we use to write history become politicised. The...