My role as Historian-in-Residence at EPIC is varied and allows me to work on many exciting projects: researching fascinating past lives, communicating their stories to the wider public, and collaborating with passionate historians, scientists, and creative professionals.
April was a flurry of activity, with exciting work on a great variety of projects.
There has been lots of interest in the temporary exhibition currently on display at EPIC – Across the Waves: The Seafaring Irish. It will remain on display until 1 May, so be sure to call in while you can! I gave a short interview on Newstalk’s Moncrieff programme about one of the stories featured in the exhibition, William Hobson, first governor of New Zealand and pirate-hunter.
I was busy this month completing the research for the next temporary exhibition, ‘Irish Educators Abroad: Building Something Wonderful’, which will go on display in EPIC on 6 June. The research entailed spending lots of time in the archives of various missionary organisations, learning about their work overseas in the past two centuries. In all, researching this exhibition has put me in touch with people and organisations who are delighted to help me share their stories – a really positive and fulfilling experience.
Image from exhibition: Sr Mary Joseph & Kabwata schoolgirl, Zambia, 1958. Courtesy Religious Sisters of Charity, Caritas.
Together with colleagues in EPIC, we worked on producing a short video telling some of the stories of Irish missionaries who have worked in education in Africa. Members of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa visited EPIC to share their experiences of working all over Africa teaching and organising adult literacy programmes. It was humbling to hear about their experiences first-hand, and we’ll be sharing those stories with you soon.
I was delighted to be invited to join an An Post committee to help conceptualise a special series of stamps to commemorate and celebrate the Irish abroad. It was fascinating to see how the process works, and to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Dublin’s iconic GPO.
Finally, I was invited to participate in an upcoming RTÉ television series … but you will have to stay tuned to find out what it is!