Featured Transcriber: Tammy Sellner

Tammy Sellner
Tammy Sellner

Tammy Sellner is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the USA.  She is a bookworm, who also has a passion for cultural preservation. She is currently working in film archiving and distribution and she spends any free time reading and travelling.

Tammy has always been interested in the past and not just what she reads in History books, but actual accounts of the people who were living their lives through these monumentally trying times.  She told us about her involvement with the Letters of 1916 project. Read more below.


I had always wanted to see Ireland and see where my ancestors came from before they landed in New York. After saving up, I decided it was the time to venture abroad and spend some time in Ireland.

I spent a week in Dublin taking in the sights, and met some great folks along the way. I split my time between all the amazing cultural and tourist spots, as well as some of the more local places. I ended up getting a great feel for the city. I absolutely fell in love with Dublin and could not get over how lovely the people and sights were.I was blown away by the beauty of Trinity College Library – I did not want to leave there, as it is so beautiful! Besides this, my highlights included Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle.  When I visited these places, I realised the importance of the role these sites played in the Easter Rising of 1916.

After that first visit to Ireland last winter, I immersed myself in books about Irish history and stories of life in 20th century Ireland. Once I found the Letters of 1916 project, I was drawn in by the stories the letters told, from day to day life to some devastating events. I am thrilled to be a part of transcribing history.

Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland
Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland

For me, being involved with the Letters of 1916 project has been a way to really feel and sense the history of the time from a non textbook perspective. Although the phrasing and writing at time can be slightly challenging, an unedited glimpse into the world at that moment in time and is a wonderful reward.My favourite letter, that I have transcribed so far, is from Thomas Furey to Lady Clonbrock thanking her for supplies and requesting a pair of new shoes. The letter inspired me to find out more about Lady Clonbrock.  I found out that she was originally named Augusta Crofton Dillon and she worked with the Irish Women’s association and aided many of the men that were in Prisoner of War (POW) camps. I am still researching her story, and cannot wait to uncover more about her.

Letter from Thomas Furey to Lady Clonbrock, 6 December 1915 | Image: National Library of Ireland
Letter from Thomas Furey to Lady Clonbrock, 6 December 1915 | Image: National Library of Ireland

I was lucky enough to make some friends while I was in Dublin and hope to come back within the year to visit and explore some places outside of Dublin.


Tammy tweets at @Bornfrances.

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