Since dlr LexIcon opened to the public in December 2014, exhibitions have played a key role in outreach work and programming, attracting large numbers of visitors to the library and raising awareness about the work of one of Ireland’s busiest public libraries. The exhibitions showcase not only highlights from dlr LexIcon’s Local Studies and Archives Collection but also the work of our writers in residence as well as travelling exhibitions in partnerships with embassies and other cultural institutions. Our exhibitions also mark important commemorations as part of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s Decade of Centenaries programme. We are pleased to share these resources online with you. If you are interested in hosting any of these exhibitions in your library or cultural centre please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This fascinating exhibition celebrates the work of Anne Makower and Christopher Fitz-Simon in theatre, television and radio. This remarkable couple share the same birthday and have lived in the Dún Laoghaire area for 56 years. They worked in RTÉ from the early days, Christopher initiated such iconic series as Tolka Row and Anne produced most of the classical music programmes throughout her extensive career whilst juggling her other career as a soprano in recitals, oratorio and opera. Some of the most popular TV programmes which she directed were Music in the Making, five operas in the RTÉ Proms, and Piano Plus with John O’Conor.
Christopher moved to and fro between TV and the theatre. He held executive positions at the Abbey Theatre, the Irish Theatre Company and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. He has lectured on Irish theatre in ten countries on four continents; among his many books (all available at dlr LexIcon) are The Boys, a joint biography of Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLíammóir, founders of the Dublin Gate Theatre and most recently Rise above!: letters from Tyrone Guthrie. He has also been an adjudicator in the Tidy Towns Competition since 1991.
In addition to the exhibition below, here is a link to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown's YouTube site and the interview conducted by poet and playwright Vincent Woods with Anne and Christopher:All Right on the Night Exhibition
This exhibition gives an insight into the founding of An Garda Síochána and how An Garda Síochána developed its own style of policing in Ireland since the foundation of the state, focusing in particular on the county of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. The exhibition highlights how An Garda Síochána has contributed to building a safe and peaceful society, and how members of An Garda Síochána forge strong relationships with the local communities in which they work and live.An Garda Síochána Centenary Exhibition
An exhibition organized by Dún Laoghaire Borough Historical Society in association with dlr LexIcon.
Curated by Colin and Anna Scudds of the Dún Laoghaire Borough Historical Society in association with dlr Local Studies at dlr LexIcon, this important exhibition marks the 200th anniversary of the harbour. The exhibition tells a marvelous tale - full of high drama, colourful personalities, shipwrecks, royal visits, hulk ships and of course the diaspora - thousands of Irish people sought employment and brighter opportunities as they boarded the ferry from Dún Laoghaire, and for many it was to be their last glimpse of Ireland. The harbour is the dominant feature in the life of this town and it takes a leap of the imagination to recall what old Dunleary looked like 200 years ago. The story of how and why the asylum harbor was built in the first place and the history up to the present day can be seen in a clear timeline over three panels of the exhibition. It covers some of the key figures such as Richard Toutcher, John Rennie and the early Harbour Masters, Lieutenant William Hutchison and the Hon. Capt. Francis George Crofton. What were working conditions like for the workers who lived on Dalkey Commons and close to the Harbour? What seafaring tragedies happened over the years? When did the last fog horn sound? This is a vivid and accessible account of the history behind these much-loved piers of Dún Laoghaire Harbour.
This exhibition was funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council through dlr Libraries (Local Studies at dlr LexIcon). It was launched on 18 May 2017 by the Cathaoirleach Cllr. Cormac Devlin and the exhibition panels and poster were designed by Olivia Hearne of Concept2Print.Bicentenary of Dún Laoghaire Harbour
The Big House formed the private domain for generations of the political, military and financial elites of Ireland and while it was largely removed from the everyday experience of Irish men and women, it often stood at the centre of the local economy, providing employment for those living in the area. The world of the Big House became increasingly unsteady as Ireland tilted towards independence and the grand houses that survived the fires of the 1920s faced further change during the twentieth century. Many of them were adapted and changed for use as convents, hospitals and schools.
There is an accompanying publication of the same title available at dlr LexIcon or Dubray Books, price 15 euros.
See also the online exhibition Cottages in Livery: The Gate Lodges of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
Curated by David Gunning, dlr Historian in Residence, the exhibition is part of a wider initiative that focuses on the Big Houses of Dún Laogahire-Rathdown, supported by the Decade of Centenaries, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.The Big Houses of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
In November 2018, dlr LexIcon hosted an exhibition on the life of Charles Stanley Cuthbert curated by dlr Libraries' archivist in residence David Gunning. Thanks to the support and generosity of Philip and Peter Cuthbert who donated their father’s manuscript diary of his experiences of WWI, amongst other artefacts and memorabilia, we are now delighted to present this digitised manuscript and a new version of the exhibition online via Microsoft Sway at https://sway.office.com/AuuzkQjW58504YY8?ref=email. The pdf version below of the manuscript diary is divided into two consecutive pdfs, part I and part 2.
After the war, Charles made his home in Ireland. He stayed at a variety of addresses in Dún Laoghaire and Blackrock in the 1930s and 40s and lived in Shankill from 1970 until his death at the age of 93 in 1988.
The Charles Stanley Cuthbert Collection was originally donated to dlr Local Studies & Archives in 2015.Cuthbert Diary Part 1 Cuthbert Diary Part 2
In May 2015, dlr LexIcon’s Local Studies Department was contacted by Jeremy Kenny regarding an archive of information containing letters, newspaper cuttings, booklets and photographs relating to the Christ the King sculpture by the much celebrated sculptor Andrew O’Connor (1874-1941), now situated in the grounds of dlr LexIcon. Jeremy’s grandfather, Edward J. Kenny and his father Edmond A. Kenny were instrumental in the preservation and eventual installation of this sculpture at Haigh Terrace in December 1978. Edward was a solicitor and kept extensive files outlining the gestation and context of the project and these files add a great deal to what was to become an intriguing story of cultural and clerical politics spanning almost half a century from the early 1930s to the late 1970s. It was in Edward’s backyard of his house on Rochestown Avenue that the sculpture was stored for many years due to a stalemate situation regarding its proposed site. dlr LexIcon’s Local Studies staff and colleagues in UCD’s School of History: MA in Archives and Records Management Programme formed a partnership to produce this exhibition.
Produced by dlr Libraries in partnership with UCD’s School of History: MA Archives and Records Management, based on an archive donated by the Kenny family.Christ the King Exhibition
Located at the entrance to the Big House, the gate lodge played an important role in the management and security of an estate while also allowing wealthy owners to experiment with architectural form and style. In many cases, these little buildings are the only remaining evidence of the big houses that have disappeared from the local landscape, though many lodges have fallen into ruin or been removed for road widening and development.
Learn about the gate lodges, the people who lived there and the purpose they served.
This exhibition, curated by David Gunning, dlr Historian in Residence, is part of a wider initiative that focuses on the Big Houses of Dún Laogahire-Rathdown, supported by the Decade of Centenaries, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.
The exhibition is best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.
Following extensive research at Deansgrange Cemetery, local historian Shabnam Vasisht has discovered the remarkable achievements of a wide range of Irish people who lived and worked in India during British rule. There were servicemen who fought in the Indian Mutiny; hard-working civil servants and eminent judges; and missionaries who aimed to convert sun-worshipping heathens to ‘muscular Christianity’. Shabnam’s quest was to bring these extraordinary people to our attention. Having managed to sort out the Maxwell Montagus from the Montagu Maxwells, she has recorded their experiences in this revealing exhibition.
The publication and accompanying exhibition were supported with a grant from dlr Heritage Office.Digging up the Raj
The Oratory of the Sacred Heart was built on the grounds of St. Mary's Dominican Convent and dedicated to the Sacred Heart in 1919. The building commemorates the many local Irishmen who fought and died in the Great War. From 1920-1936, it was hand-painted by Sister Concepta Lynch, a Dominican nun at St. Mary's and the result is a stunning example of the Celtic Revival style. Stained glass windows were created by Harry Clarke Studios in Dublin. This exhibition tells the story of the Oratory.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown celebrated the Decade of Centenaries Programme in 2019 with this exhibition, a new book entitled Divine Illumination published by New Island Books (the first full-length account of this remarkable story), a redesigned exhibition and foyer at the Oratory on Library Road and an extensive series of workshops, talks and seminars.
Exhibition curated by David Gunning, dlr Archivist in Residence at dlr Libraries, Nigel Curtin, Local Studies Librarian and dlr LexIcon Librarian Marian Thérèse Keyes. Funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, dlr Libraries and dlr Heritage Office and supported by the Dominican Sisters, Cabra and the National Gallery of Ireland.
Enjoy two videos about the Oratory of the Sacred Heart. The first video gives an overview of the Oratory and an account of the events held to celebrate the centenary in 2019 and the second video showcases the finale event, a mural painted in the grounds of the Oratory by 6th class Dominican Primary School Dún Laoghaire with artist Mags Harnett.
Divine Illumination: https://youtu.be/0nHYdhiDJ7k
The Mural: https://youtu.be/Dl06oJSGUeE
See also here for a virtual tour of the Oratory. This excellent resource was prepared by dlr Heritage Office.Divine Illumination Oratory Exhibition
Eat Your Heart Out is an exhibition about food and memory. Contributors were invited to write about a recipe or dish that meant a great deal to them, or to describe a special food memory and explore why it is significant. Congratulations and thanks to all the contributors: Caroline Bracken, Patricia Doran, Sally Dunne, Angela Finn, Jackie Fitzgerald, Sarah Maria Griffin, Clare Hall, Michelle McElroy, Mairéad McGrath, Cormac O’Connor, Maggie O’Dwyer, Marie G. O’Dwyer, Adrienne Quinn, Hester Scott and Michelle Walsh.
Exhibition curated by dlr Writer in Residence 2018-19 Sarah Maria Griffin
Photography by Bríd O’DonovanEat your heart out
Edward Lee was a businessman who, in the 1880s built a chain of drapery shops in Bray, Kingstown, Rathmines and Dublin. He was recognized for his caring attitude towards his employees and was credited with introducing the weekly half-day holiday to Ireland in 1889. He also had a strong social conscience. During the 1913 Lockout, he disagreed with the tactics used by William Martin Murphy and other employers against the strikers. Edward and his wife Annie had nine children but only four sons survived into adulthood and the Great War took a terrible toll on the family. The Lee family lived for many years in The Grange, Stillorgan and later in Bellevue, Blackrock. An associated book written by Edward Lee’s great-grandson Michael Lee, entitled Edward Lee: Model Employer and Man of Moral Courage, is available in all dlr libraries and bookshops. Price €10.
Produced by dlr Libraries in partnership with Michael Lee and the extended Lee family.Edward Lee Exhibition
Eilís Dillon was an extraordinarily versatile writer, publishing 50 titles between 1948 and 1992. This richly illustrated exhibition looks mostly at her books for the young, highlighting themes such as island life on the wild Atlantic coast, her love of music, her knowledge of language and folk traditions.
Exhibition curated by dlr Writer in Residence 2019-2020 Sadhbh Devlin in partnership with Eilís Dillon's family.
Photo: Eilís Dillon, ©RTÉ Photograph ArchiveEilís Dillon exhibition.pdf
The papers of F.M. O'Flanagan, the self-styled 'Recorder of Dalkey', donated to dlr Libraries in 2018, have been utilised to create an online exhibition exploring aspects of life in the heritage town during the twentieth century. F.M. O'Flanagan was a Dalkey resident and founding member of many local clubs and associations including the Dalkey Literary, Historical and Debating Society, and the Vico Bathing Place Swimming Club. The exhibition features material relating to O'Flanagan, his research on the history of Dalkey as well as documents concerning local societies and events.
Arising from a generous donation by Jennifer Johnston in 2019, we are delighted to present an exhibition about Jennifer, in partnership with her family to celebrate her 90th birthday in January 2020. Last year Jennifer donated her writing desk and nearly 2,000 of her books to dlr Libraries. Her book collection includes numerous translations of her novels, signed gifts received by many fellow writers, dramatists and artists and a large collection of her own books. Jennifer donated her archive to Trinity College Dublin which also houses the archive of her father Denis Johnston. The LexIcon collection has now been catalogued and this exhibition showcases aspects of the life and work of this remarkable writer.
Photo: Jennifer Johnston by Brenda FitzsimonsJennifer Johnston at 90 Exhibition
This exhibition is based on a diary written by 22 year old Kathleen King (née Murphy) (1893-1978) of Mount Salus Road, Dalkey during the 1916 Rising. It was found recently by her family amongst her collection of photos, letters, playbills and memorabilia. Kathleen moved in the same circles as Thomas and John MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett, Edward Martyn and Máire Nic Shiubhlaigh and she was a staunch supporter of the cause for Irish independence. She married Dr Edward King in 1918 who went on to become the first Medical Officer appointed by the new Sinn Féin government. Kathleen was a prominent member of An Taisce in the 1950s and became one of Ireland’s leading bryologists.
Produced by dlr Libraries with support from dlr Heritage Office and based on the loan of material from the extended King family in Dalkey. The exhibition is divided into two parts. The Biography consists of 16 panels about Kathleen's life and times. The Diary has 15 panels, reproducing the Diary with text transcribed on each page. An audio podcast of Kathleen King's Diary is available at http://libraries.dlrcoco.ie/online-library/library-podcast. It is read by Kathleen's great grand-daughter, Joanne King.Kathleen King Exhibition - Biography Kathleen King Exhibition - Diary
Daniel Cohalan (1865-1946) played a crucial role in mobilising Irish-American support for Ireland's struggle for independence between 1916-21. He is best remembered for his bitter feud with Éamon de Valera during the latter's mission to the United States in 1919-20. Cohalan spent many summers with his family in Glandore in Cork where visitors included Pádraig Pearse and Douglas Hyde. Cohalan stayed in the Royal Marine Hotel in 1923 where he met and corresponded with Free State President of the Executive Council, William T. Cosgrave, Richard Mulcahy and Joe McGrath. In partnership with St. Joseph's College, Long Island New York and the Gardiner Foundation.
The exhibition was launched on 6 November 2019 in dlr LexIcon by Irish journalist, author and RTÉ presenter David McCullagh and Justice Peter Fox Cohalan, great-nephew of Daniel Cohalan.
Curated by Dr Michael Doorley, author of Justice Daniel Cohalan 1865-1946: American patriot and Irish-American nationalist (Cork University Press, 2019)The Life and Times of Justice Daniel Cohalan
Curated by Patrick Kiersey, this wonderful exhibition consists of 30 photographs, taken over Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in the 1950s by Norman Ashe. They are of special interest as they depict the area when there were more fields than houses, lanes that became dual carriageways and landmarks that are no longer.
Patrick Kiersey, Art/Photographer teacher, with a keen interest in historical photographic collections, worked in Dún Laoghaire VEC/ETB for many years. He found the collection almost by accident and is restoring the images of aerial photographs from all over Ireland taken in the early 50s. The Norman Ashe Collection can be seen on Facebook (The Old Drone: Norman Ashe Aerial Photographic Collection). Patrick can be contacted at email@example.comNorman Ashe Aerial Photography Collection
The Pale Project is a writing initiative devised by Selina Guinness, dlr Writer in Residence 2015-16. We all know where we live but we don’t always get the chance to consider what it means to inhabit a place or how it might shape our daily lives, our habits and dreams. Each participant chose an area in the county as their individual ‘pale’, a territory they documented in field notes, sketches, maps and photographs.
Participants: David Alvey, Jane Dillon Byrne, Patricia Byrne, Berni Dwan, Denise French, Selina Guinness, Sara Hanley, Veronica Heywood, Glenn Kaufmann, Pádhraig Nolan, Catherine O’Donoghue, Catherine Philips, Jane Robinson, Sheila Robinson, Dylan Ryan, Aoife Tunney, Shabnam Vasisht and Daniel Wade.
The Pale Project was funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council through the Arts Office 2015-2016 Writer in Residence programme, grant aided by The Arts Council. The exhibition, which was launched in November 2016 by Selina Guinness was funded by dlr Libraries and was on display in dlr LexIcon until January 2017 when it travelled to other venues in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. With thanks to the Pale Project Committee - Denise French, Sara Hanley and Pádraig Nolan. Pádraig was also the designer of the exhibition.The Pale Project Exhibition.pdf
This is the story of Private 21526, Cleary, John of 'D' Company, 9th Dublins but it is also the story of his comrades and includes extracts from their surviving letters. John Cleary, like so many others, has no known grave and no photograph of him exists to date. But he is always remembered...
Exhibition curated by dlr Senior Library Assistant Seán Downes and produced by dlr Libraries in 2018.Remembered - A Bray Man in the Great War Exhibition
From its earliest days, Kingstown served as a centre for yachting in Ireland, with the first regatta being held in 1828. Since that time, Dún Laoghaire has continued to host cruising and racing events. This exhibition, curated by David Gunning and originally displayed in the LexIcon to coincide with the 2023 Coastival festival, explores the evolution of yachting in Dún Laoghaire, the history of the various local yacht clubs and their contribution to the development of aquatic sports throughout the years, and the social and cultural significance of regattas for the participants, spectators and citizens of the area. The exhibition features images and archival records from dlr Local Studies.The Rush of the Race Exhibition
‘This exhibition is a tribute of gratitude to a little stretch of water that has been for me a place of solace and inspiration, those moments when I soothe my mind in all weathers in preparation for a day of heaven-knows-what difficulties and travails. These photographs record the visual impact of the sky, the sun, the spires of four churches seen from the sea, and, of course, the many beautiful birds and sea creatures that share the sea so willingly with us human intruders. From photos of the past to the many recreational pursuits at Seapoint and not forgetting the majestic Martello Tower, this exhibition captures the unique elements that make Seapoint an idyll without equal’. Prof. Eoin O’Brien
In addition to the attached exhibition, curated by Prof. Eoin O’Brien, we are pleased to note that the O’Brien Archive at dlr LexIcon includes his Coastal Photographic Collection, comprised of printed photos, digital photos and miscellaneous papers relating to the area. Copies of the publication Seapoint: Sea, Sky and Spires are available and a signed copy of his important The Beckett Country: Samuel Beckett’s Ireland. The latter outlines in text and photography the importance of place in Beckett’s writing, much of it relating to Dún Laoghaire, Foxrock and environs. Prof. O’Brien is a cardiologist and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at UCD’s Conway Institute. He is also a noted Beckett scholar.
See also: The Beckett Archive in UCD https://www.ucd.ie/specialcollections/exhibitions/beckett/Seapoint: Sea, Sky and Spires
What was life like in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown over the years? Storyteller Helena Byrne posed this question to members of local day care centres. Enjoy these stirring memories of trips to the Baths on sunny days, shopping in the much-loved local shops of the past such as Lee’s, and getting dressed up for a Saturday night out in the Top Hat! This heartwarming exhibition is the culmination of a social history project to collect and preserve reminiscences and recollections of times gone by.
A huge thanks to the staff and members of all the participating day care centres for sharing their stories, especially: Beaufort Day Care Centre (Glasthule), The Clevis Unit (Leopardstown), Leopardstown Park Day Centre, Mount Merrion Friendship Club and Shankill Day Care Centre.
This is a joint project by dlr Libraries and dlr Age Friendly Programme, and is supported by the Creativity in Older Age Fund, part of the Creative Ireland Programme.Stirring Memories (PDF version)
In 1821 the name Dunleary or Dun Leary was changed to Kingstown in honour of King George IV’s visit to this bustling and rapidly developing town. In 1920 it was officially given the name Dún Laoghaire, referring back to the original Irish name for Dunleary. It was a deliberate political act during the War of Independence, an act of defiance against the old order in Ireland. In the years following the establishment of the Irish Free State, the use of Kingstown gradually diminished and was replaced in the consciousness of visitors and residents of the town by variants of the name – Dunleary, Dun Laoire and Dún Laoghaire.
dlr Libraries acquired nearly 700 postcards of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area from the sale of the Seamus Kearns Collection of Postcards in 2019. These images form the basis of a publication entitled What’s in a Name? Dun Leary – Kingstown – Dún Laoghaire: A Visual History, an accompanying onsite and online exhibition featuring a selection of these postcards and a series of talks and videos to mark the centenary of the name change. In addition, a Primary Schools resource featuring five Lesson Plans for teachers has been prepared by Séamus Cannon and Ríonach O Callaghan in association with Blackrock Education Centre. These Lesson Plans cover topics such as the origin of Dún Laoghaire, Martello Towers, the derivation of Early Christian and more recent Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown placenames, royal connections and growth of the harbour. A link to these resources for teachers can be found at https://www.scoilnet.ie/.
This initiative is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media as part of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.
Exhibition and publication curated and edited by David Gunning, dlr Archivist in Residence, Nigel Curtin, Local Studies Librarian and dlr LexIcon Librarian Marian Thérèse Keyes.Dun Leary Kingstown Dún Laoghaire - What's in a Name Exhibition
In the mid-1980s, American company Emerald City Productions was set up from scratch in Dún Laoghaire, adjacent to the DART station. Canadian directors Al Guest and Jean Mathieson created a fully serviced animation facility, recruiting fifty people from all walks of life. In five years, ten 50-minute feature-length television films based on classic books were produced. This is the story of Emerald City Productions, bringing us back to the early days of animation activity in Ireland, right here in Dún Laoghaire.
Exhibition curated by Nicola Sedgwick and produced by dlr Libraries in March 2019.Wizards of Animation Exhibition