Mary Russell

Memorabilia of WW1 at the  National Library of Ireland, Dublin. March 21 2012

 

Just back from the National Library in Dublin’s Kildare Street. It was packed, throbbing with people who had brought their memorabilia to have digitised and then added to similar records that are being collected throughout Europe.

It was marvellous – as well as  moving – to see people displaying  scrap books of their relatives’ bits and pieces from the war. There were letters, medals, maps, insignia, photographs, a whistle attached to a plaited bit of rope, all handled with care, lives laid out and displayed for the library staff to look at and explain or talk about. In the digitising room, I saw a small cross made out of wood, each bit wrapped in silver cigarette paper, the whole lot preserved ( how?) inside a bottle of (holy?) water. There was also an intricately-built handcrafted model…

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