Commemoration Programme

About the Commemoration Programme

The National Archives’ 2023 Commemoration Programme

Following an intensive programme of commemorations in 2021 and 2022, including exhibitions, publications and events relating to the negotiation of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland, the pocket diaries of Michael Collins, and the 1922 Constitution Committee, the National Archives is planning an exciting public programme for the year ahead.

The centrepiece of the National Archives’ 2023 Commemoration Programme is an international exhibition to mark the centenary of Ireland joining the League of Nations. Drawing from records held in the National Archives, the exhibition will explore the early ambitions of the new Irish state as it asserted its independence within an international frame. The exhibition will introduce the Irish delegation who travelled and worked in Geneva in 1923 to secure Ireland’s membership, and explore key themes relating to the role of Ireland at the League of Nations during the 1930s. Working in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Irish Academy (Documents in Irish Foreign Policy), the exhibition will be presented in Switzerland (Geneva) and in Ireland in September 2023.

The National Archives will continue to support creative thinking and the arts in 2023, through a major exhibition by artist-in-residence, John Beattie; a two-part documentary commissioned in association with RTÉ which explores the story of nation building over the last 100 years; and an installation of new work by ANU which highlights the value of record keeping, the tragedy of lost histories and the role of the artist in addressing, in imaginative and creative ways, absences and gaps in the archive and our collective memory.

The National Archives will present a series of monthly public talks, including an historian’s response to Compensation Claims relating to the period of the War of Independence and Civil War, and a panel discussion to mark the centenary of The Irish Film Censor’s Office, which was established by the Censorship of Films Act, 1923.

The National Archives’ Commemoration Programme aims to bring our collections to life and make them relevant by exploring the impact and legacy of the events that occurred during the revolutionary period. By supporting scholarly, collaborative and creative responses, the National Archives has, and will continue to activate its holdings to enable an open, diverse and inclusive commemoration of the final, challenging years of Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries.