At the Irish Jesuit Archives, I am taking the first tentative steps in investigating digital preservation.
Aim: Ensure that born-digital material in the Irish Jesuit Archives is secure and preserved for the future. (Setting myself quite a challenge, and determined not going to use Rothenberg quote!)
What are the constraints? Lone archivist, some ICT knowledge, no survey of digital material, no finance, no ‘real’ digital preservation experience…
Plan: Firstly, I am going to try and read as much as possible and document (on openoffice) what I have read and how to implement some of what I have learnt. I will post further ramblings here.
Some random thoughts from reading the above (31 May 2013):
Rathfarnham Castle, which dates from the Elizabethan times, is probably the earliest example of what is termed a “fortified house” built in Ireland. One hundred years ago this May, the Jesuits purchased Rathfarnham Castle as a residence and house of studies for their university students. They sold the house in 1985.
A seismograph was built at Rathfarnham Castle by Fr. William O’ Leary in 1916. In 1932, a Milne-Shaw seismograph (above) was obtained to replace the ‘O Leary seismograph’. Further Info
On Friday, 10th May at Rathfarnham Castle, Simon Loftus will read from his new book entitled ‘The Invention of Memory: An Irish Family Scrapbook 1560 - 1934’. Adam Loftus arrived in Dublin in 1560 and built the original Rathfarnham Castle.
Rathfarnham Historical Society will meet on Thursday 23 May 2013 at 8 p.m. in the Church of Ireland Parish Centre, Rathfarnham village. A lecture, titled Rathfarnham Castle Demesne will be given by Rebecca Jeffares. All welcome. Admission for non-members: 4 euro.
Over the Easter period, I was privileged to follow ‘In the Footsteps of Ignatius’ and spend five days in Loyola, Spain. Visits included the Loyola family’s Tower House - the Holy House, Loyola Basilica, the Onati caves at Arrikrutz, Arantzazu, Pamplona and Xavier Castle.
On my return, I have come across a souvenir book (image above of Loyola, c.1894) entitled ‘The Ignatian Album’ (1894), printed and published by Guy & Co. Ltd, 114 George Street, Limerick and presented to Fr. Patrick Keating SJ, on the occasion of him becoming Provincial of the Irish Province, by Fr. Francis Daly SJ, Mungret College, Limerick, (20 January 1895).
Loyola, March 2013.
The Novena of Grace in honour of St. Francis Xavier takes place at St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin, from 4th - 12th March 2013.
The background to the Novena of Grace can be read here.
In the archives, there is an account of the cure of William Bacon from a stomach ailment, thanks to the intercession of St. Francis Xavier during the Novena of Grace, dated Dublin 8 January 1665. There is also a book with the title ‘The manner of performing the Novena, or the nine days devotion to St. Francis Xaverius of the Society of Jesus and Apostle of the Indies, as also the devotion of the ten Fridays to the same saint’ printed for Ignatius Kelly, at the Stationers-Arms in Mary’s Lane, Dublin, 1749.
In 2012, slides and photographs taken by Irish Jesuits in Zambia (1950 - 1990) and Hong Kong (1929 - 1990) were presented to the Irish Jesuit Archives by the Irish Jesuit Mission Office. For historical accuracy, at different times, these missions were also referred to the Chikuni Mission and Chinese Mission. www.jesuitmissions.ie
Taken out of their original boxes which were in poor condition, over 2,000 slides and photographs are in the process of been rehoused. They have some handwritten pencil and biro descriptions which may help in identification however if you can identify any of the people, places or give background information such as dates to any slide or photograph, then either comment on the flickr site or email email@example.com
A book entitled ‘The Man Called James Corboy: Irish Jesuit Bishop of Monze, Zambia’ written by Sr. Catherine Dunne SHM was launched by Father Provincial Tom Layden SJ at Milltown Park on Thursday, 24 January 2013.
James Corboy was born at Brookville, Caherconlish, county Limerick, 20 October 1916. Educated at the Crescent and Clongowes, he entered the society in 1935 and was ordained in 1948. He was consecrated Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. He retired as bishop in 1992, returned to Ireland in 1996 and died in Dublin, 24 November 2004. His body was returned for burial in Zambia in 2005.
Clicking on the image of the book or here takes you to a flickr set of images of Bishop Corboy.
This summer, the conservation of the yacht ASGARD, the 1914 Howth gun-running vessel, was completed at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks. The Irish Jesuit Archives hold a crucifix with the inscription: ‘Gordon Shephard: Killed in France Jan. 19 1918 R.I.P Magnum Signum Amoris’. So who was Gordon Shephard and what links this crucifix to the ASGARD?
The son of Sir Hoartio Hale Shephard (the then advocate-general of the presidency of Madras), Gordon Strachey Shephard was born in India in 1885. Educated at Eton, he passed into Sandhurst in 1903 and was commissioned in 1905.
Shephard first met Erskine and Molly Childers in London in 1909. Erskine and Gordon became firm friends, sharing their passion for sailing. Shephard combined his military career with his sailing exploits - also providing the British Admiralty with photographs and maps of German installations while sailing. In a ‘Riddles of the Sands’ type episode, Shephard and another sailor were held for three days by the German authorities for spying in September 1911. In 1912 Shephard joined the Royal Flying Corps.
In the summer of 1913, Shephard, and the Childers’s sailed on the Asgard to Germany and around Scandinavian but left Shephard to sail the Asgard back from Oslo in October to Holyhead. For this feat, he was awarded the Challenge Cup of the Royal Cruising Club. Erskine Childers then asked Shephard to help with the smuggling of guns into Ireland. Shephard accepted. Having helped sail the Asgard to Germany and back for the purpose of gun-running, Shephard was put ashore in Milford Haven, Wales on 19 July 1914. Remarkably, he showed up at Howth on 26 July, to assist with the unloading of guns from the Asgard. Afterwards, Mary Spring Rice and Shephard started back to Dublin and in a matter of fact way, said ‘I took him to tea at the Arts Club’.
In August 1914, Shephard flew to France. In 1917 he was promoted, the then youngest Brigadier General in the Royal Flying Corps. On 19 January 1918, Brigadier-General Shephard, D.S.O. M.C., died as a result of a flying accident at Auchel. Two days afterwards, Erskine Childers wrote to Lady Agnes Shephard, Gordon’s mother, ‘He was one of my heroes and will always be so. Molly and I loved him’.
Lady Agnes Shephard presented the crucifix to the Molly Childers who gave it to the Jesuits when they lived at Rathfarnham Castle.
The current exhibition at Marsh’s Library, Dublin is entitled ‘Marvels of Science: Book that changed the World’ and is part of the Dublin City of Science 2012 festival. The 70 plus rare and important scientific texts exhibited were produced in 24 different cities in 10 European countries. The earliest date from the 14th century and the exhibition includes work by Robert Boyle, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Christiaan Huygens, Sir Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, William Petty, Narcissus Marsh, Jonathan Swift, Isaac Newton and by Jesuits, Christoph Scheiner, Giambattista Riccioli, Gaspar Schott and Athanasius Kircher.
One of the most interesting cases is Forgotten Females - which highlights the role of woman in investigative science which has been largely hidden (the works of Louyse Bourgeois, Marie Meurdrac and Elisabetha Hevelius and Elizabth Albin). Lastly, The Curious Experiments: A scientific detective project by six students from the Grashof Gymnasium in Essien, Germany should serve as inspiration for anyone endeavouring in ‘scientific outreach’.