This weekend and next, on Documentary on Newstalk, Producer Brian Byrne brings you the story of Dublin’s past, as told by the city’s six historians in residence - in History in Residence...
History in Residence premieres on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday Jan 12th at 7am, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday Jan 18th at 9pm.
In 2016 thousands of people took to the streets across the country to take part in events commemorating the Easter Rising. In Dublin alone there were over 100 different community events. This was when Dublin City Council identified the real appetite for history in the city, and the need for community-based history resource. This was how the historians in residence program was born.
The following year in 2017, the council hired 6 historians in residence (the first of their kind in the city) with the mandate to take history down from the ‘ivory tower’ of academia, and back into our communities. To deepen and empower public connection to the past, promoting a sense of historical identity and pride - and to show that history can be just as much about the present, as it is the past.
“It’s probably unique that a local authority and a library service is taking historians and encouraging them to go out and talk to people about history. I think sometimes people are overwhelmed by history, or it’s boring or its too much, or I don't know how to do it or its hard to read, we wanted to just let people to have access and engagement to history, to be able to to go to a talk or a walk, or take part in a discussion, exhibition. It’s just bringing history out onto the streets if you like. Making it that bit easier to tap into. And I think their enthusiasm and their passion for history just comes across when you talk to them, they just love history and talking to people about history, and that’s just infectious and its very positive.” Tara Doyle, Senior Librarian, Dublin City Council
Cathy Scuffil, Maeve Casserly, Mary Muldowney, Cormac Moore, Bernard Kelly and James Curry make up the team of historians. They each have their ‘own’ area of Dublin to work in, and over the past 2 years they’ve held talks, given guided walks, helped the revival of weaving in the Liberties, started history clubs, oral history projects and made history engaging for people from all walks of life.
This documentary follows the work of the historians in residence, and takes you on a journey across Dublin and into its past, featuring little known stories behind some of Dublin’s history- like why the forty foot is called the forty foot, why Hannah Sheehy Skeffington did to the census or the origin of the animals which once adorned our coins.
BROADCAST TIMES: History in Residence premieres on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday Jan 12th at 7am, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday Jan 18th at 9pm.
PODCAST: The programme will be available for download from newstalk.com after the broadcast.
CREDITS: History in Residence was produced by Brian Byrne & funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television license fee.
HISTORY IN RESIDENCE PROJECT: To find out more about the historians in residence project, ask your local librarian, or contact them at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org