The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives
Presented by the National Archives in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, the National Library of Ireland and the Office of Public Works, with records from the collections of the Military Archives, Dublin and University College Dublin Archives.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty is one of the most significant historical documents held by the National Archives. Using it as a centrepiece, the National Archives will present an exhibition that marks its role as the official repository of the records of the State, one hundred years since its formation. The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives opens up significant historical records, official documents and private papers for the first time in the history of the State, including the first public presentation of the Treaty document.
Using contemporary reportage, images and footage, The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives locates the Treaty negotiations in the political context of the Irish revolution and a world turned upside down by the First World War. Beginning with the exploratory talks between Éamon de Valera, President of Dáil Éireann, and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George during the summer of 1921, it details the work of the Irish plenipotentiaries and their secretariat, by presenting the documentary record that they left behind.
The exhibition also chronicles day-to-day life in London for the men and women who made up the Irish delegation, from parties attended, dinners hosted and appearances at theatre and gala performances, to the tense final days and hours leading to the signing of the Treaty just after 2am on 6 December 1921. Finally, it documents the delegation’s return to Dublin, and the Dáil Éireann cabinet meeting that pointed to the split in the independence movement that emerged over the terms of the Treaty, and the divisions that would lead to civil war.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a public engagement programme designed to encourage historical enquiry and promote the widest possible interest in exploring and understanding the impact and legacy of the events that occurred during the revolutionary period, including global reactions and the experience of women.
Coach House, Dublin Castle
Exhibition dates: 6 December 2021 – 27 March 2022
|Local Authority Partner
|Wicklow County Council
|Wicklow Library & Archives, Wicklow Town
|25 April – 17 May 2022
|Tipperary County Council
|Source Arts Centre, Cathedral Road, Thurles
|3 – 31 May 2022
|Donegal County Council
|Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny
|5 – 31 May 2022
|Wexford County Council
|Wexford County Council, County Hall, Carricklawn, Wexford
|23 May – 10 June 2022
|Cork City Council
|St. Peter’s Church, North Main St, Cork
|9 June – 5 July 2022
|Limerick City and County Council
|Limerick City and County Council buildings, Merchants Quay (Istabraq Hall)
|9 – 30 June 2022
Following the huge success of the National Archives The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives exhibition at Dublin Castle, a limited edition illustrated book has been launched in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy to commemorate this significant period in our history as well as the announcement of a national tour of the exhibition over the coming months.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 is one of the most important documents in modern Irish history. How was it negotiated? Who signed it? What was life like for the Irish delegation that went to London to conclude it? A lavishly illustrated book, published by the Royal Irish Academy in partnership with the National Archives explores the world that the delegates lived in for seven fateful weeks in 1921, and how the Treaty that they negotiated came into being.
Co-edited by Dr. John Gibney (Royal Irish Academy) and Zoe Reid (National Archives), this book takes as its primary source records from the National Archives which chronicle the day-to-day life in London for the men and women who made up the Irish delegation from parties attended, dinners hosted and appearances at theatre and gala performances, to minutes, memo’s, drafts and letters between Dublin and London to the tense final days and hours leading to the signing of the Treaty just after 2am on 6 December 1921.
Order a copy here
Watch launch video here
The Learning Resource has been produced in partnership with the Department of Education. It is designed as a teaching tool and secondary source for use in the classroom by second-level educators. The teaching resource is based on Treaty records held in the National Archives and includes the following:
- Key documents relating to the negotiations and signing of the Treaty with tasks and activities for Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle history and TY students
- Biographies of the Irish and British delegates who signed the agreement
- Timeline of events
- Explanation of the Treaty articles
PREVIEW EXHIBITION AT THE BRITISH ACADEMY, LONDON
The Treaty negotiations began in London on 11 October 1921 and concluded in the early morning of 6 December 1921 with the signature, by British and Irish negotiators, of ‘Articles of Agreement’ – better known as the Anglo-Irish Treaty (or the Treaty). This led directly to the establishment of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922, governing twenty-six of Ireland’s thirty-two counties. It was a milestone in the histories of Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK), and the British Empire and Commonwealth.
A preview exhibition of The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives opened in London on 11 October 2021 to mark the centenary of the beginning and the course of the Treaty negotiations. The exhibition was presented by the National Archives in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland in London, the Royal Irish Academy and the British Academy, with records from the collections of the National Library of Ireland, the Military Archives and University College Dublin.
Exhibition dates: 11 – 23 October 2021
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH