Volunteer profile: Antoinette Murphy Howes


Co-op Volunteer Antoinette Howes

Apart from the Letters 1916-1923 staff and several MA students, volunteers across Ireland have worked hard to make the re-launch of the Letters website in summer 2018 possible. Antoinette Howes, for instance, has done a marvelous job proof-reading and formatting texts for the website. She has especially supported us in finalising our resources section where educators can download classroom material based on our collection. Initially hoping to become a transcriber, Antoinette tackled very different tasks with great determination and a true love of Irish history. Here, she talks about her background and why she decided to volunteer with Letters 1916-1923:

My name is Antoinette Murphy Howes. I am a Mature Student of BSc Psychology in the University of Limerick. My particular field of interest is in the area of Qualitative Research and currently I am on work placement for six months as part of my degree course. When deciding what I wished to do for my placement I was very keen to gain some experience in the Qualitative Research area and began searching online for a suitable position. I came across the Letters 1916-1923 Project through a volunteer centre in Clare and it really caught my attention as it was just what I was looking for. I discovered that I could be a transcriber for many love letters and government documents composed during this fascinating era. How, through reading and transcribing this literature I could virtually step back in time and get a glimpse into the life of those who lived through the Easter Rising and also how Ireland was perceived in Europe at that time. I am currently working on existing documents which will assist in the education of young minds in secondary schools as they access the Letters 1916-1923 database as part of their education. I am very much enjoying my placement. Monika, my co-ordinator is very pleasant and helpful in assisting me with any questions I have and we communicate regularly. I would highly recommend this rewarding project to anybody who is interested in volunteering their time and learning about Irish history. It is very accessible to all and I feel is something that will leave a lasting positive impact.
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