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Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes- Michael Collins’ Diaries on display in Dublin

In November 2021 the diaries of Michael Collins 1918-1922 were officially loaned to the National Archives by the family of the late Liam and Betty Collins, Clonakilty, Cork, a nephew of Michael Collins. 

This deposit, in the context of the State’s Decade of Centenaries 1912-1923 Commemorations Programme, was hugely significant for the National Archives. It not only recognised the statutory role of the National Archives in preserving and protecting the memory of the State in the form of its written records but it also recognised the substantial contribution made by Michael Collins to the development of the Irish Free State from 1916 to his death in 1922.

Since the bequest a great deal of work has been happening behind-the-scenes to make these records materially stable, secure, understood and accessible. This has involved conservation and preservation treatment, archival cataloguing and digitisation. Finally the context and interpretation of them was provided by historians Anne Dolan and William Murphy who published their book about the diaries ‘Days in the life: reading the Michael Collins diaries, 1918-1922’ in August.

Having been on display in Cork at the Michael Collins House Museum for several weeks the diaries of Michael Collins are now available to view in the ground floor lobby of the National Archives, Bishop Street.

They can be viewed weekdays 10-5pm, no booking or possession of a reader’s ticket is required.  For further details see here.

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