Women’s Suffrage in the Letters 1916-1923 collection

Women's Suffrage in Letters 1916-1923

Today marks 100 years since Irish women over the age of 30 were granted the right to vote.

The Letters 1916-1923 collection contains correspondence relating to the struggle for increased women’s rights and we have chosen some interesting highlights from the collection.


Sheehy Skeffington Papers

The largest selection of Letters 1916-1923 relating to women’s suffrage is from the National Library of Ireland‘s Sheehy Skeffington Papers.

Hanna Sheehy SkeffingtonHanna Sheehy Skeffington (1877-1946), suffragette, nationalist, language teacher, was the founder of the Irish Women’s Franchise League and a founding member of the Irish Women Workers’ Union. She was active during the 1916 Rising – she brought food to the Volunteers in the G.P.O. and the College of Surgeons. She was married to Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (1878-1916) who was summarily executed on 26 April 1916. Four days passed before she found out what had happened to her husband and it wasn’t until almost two weeks later that the full details of his execution emerged.

In 1916, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was organising a concert to raise funds for The Irish Citizen newspaper. There is a series of postcards and letters relating to the concert – just search for Hanna Sheehy Skeffington on the Letters 1916-1923 site to read them.

This special guest podcast episode was recorded by Letters 1916 interns, Emily Blackburn and Madison Ganson, from Beloit College, Wisconsin. The episode focuses on Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, the Irish Citizen newspaper, and the pursuit of Irish labour rights.


Activism

Military Archives of Ireland
© Military Archives of Ireland

Eva Gore-Booth was a poet, trade unionist, suffragist, and an active social campaigner, mostly on women’s issues. She was a contributor to the Irish literary revival from the late 1890s. She was active in the campaign for a reprieve of her sister, Constance Markievicz’s death sentence for her participation in the Easter Rising and for the improvement of her prison conditions.

In this letter to Helena Molony (1883-1967), Eva Gore-Booth enquires about Molony and the rules regarding letters and visitors and refers to her sister, Constance as well as other female prisoners, Dr Kathleen Lynn and Madeleine French-Mullen.

My sister says man never made a wall but God threw a gap in it as an old woman used to say at home


Women’s Health

The Letters 1916-1923 collection includes a large number of letters from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Archives. From 1910 until 1954 Thomas Percy Kirkpatrick (1869-1954) served as the registrar for the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He also served as the general secretary of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Kirkpatrick took a particular interest in what were then termed venereal diseases (now sexually transmitted diseases). To encourage his patients to attend, he held a clinic for women at Steevens’ hospital at a discreet early morning hour to facilitate anonymity.

Read more about Thomas Kirkpatrick in this blog post by Harriet Wheelock.

RCPI Archives
© RCPI Archives

This letter from the RCPI Archives was written by Ishbel Maria Gordon (1857-1939) and is written on ‘Women’s National Health Association of Ireland’ headed paper. Gordon was a philanthropist and Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair. In 1893 she was elected president of the nascent International Congress of Women, a federation of women’s organisations. In this role (1893–9 and 1904–36) she played a major part in building up its international network (and rebuilding it after the first world war). She was also president of the Women’s Liberal Federation, 1901–6, which eventually split over her support for women’s suffrage.

 

 

 


There are many more letters in the Letters 1916-1923 which are related to the struggle for women’s rights and women’s issues in the 1916-1923 period. Visit our website to find more.

Transcription Progress: January 2018

January 2018

In January 2018 you transcribed 55559 characters in total.

In January 2018, we reviewed our metrics and the total number of registered users in the system is 1978.

Currently 4366 letters have been uploaded to the system, of which 3678 are available to view and transcribe online. You can explore the completed and fully transcribed letters in more detail here.

THANK YOU All for contributing to the Letters 1916-1923 Project!

LETTERS:

  • 4378 letters uploaded to the system, of which 3770 have been made public to date (31 January 2018)
  • 29 new letters uploaded to the system since 31 December 2017

STATUS of the letters:

  • Transcriptions not started: 53 letters
  • Transcriptions in progress: 15 letters
  • Transcriptions that need proofing and reviewing: 952 letters
  • Transcriptions proofed and completed: 2766 letters

TOP 5 TRANSCRIBERS IN JANUARY 2018

# username characters
1 Jk123 12371
2 Dansimo90 7892
3 Apeetha 5695
4 CFMcDonald 5125
5 Miroc80 5005

Progress Update: October 2017

In October 2017 you transcribed 131751 characters in total. In October 2017, we welcomed 8 new users, bringing the total number of registered users to 1994. Currently 4337 letters have been uploaded to the system, of which 3643 are available to view and transcribe online. You can explore the completed and fully transcribed letters in more detail here. THANK … Read more

Progress Update: August / September 2017

In August/September 2017 you transcribed 101324 characters in total. In August/September 2017, we welcomed 69 new users, bringing the total number of registered users to 1986. Currently 4321 letters have been uploaded to the system, of which 3599 are available to view and transcribe online. You can explore the completed and fully transcribed letters in more detail here. THANK … Read more

Letters 1916 – 1923 & RCPI: Culture Night 2017

Culture Night 2017

Join us as we team up with the RCPI Heritage Centre on Culture Night to create an evening of activities relating to Ireland’s revolutionary period.

The event will take place in the beautiful Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) building on Kildare Street and will include talks, demonstrations, interactive exhibitions, augmented reality and live readings over a 5 hour period.

Key information about the event:

Date:

22 September 2017

Time:

5pm – 10pm (drop in any time!)

Address:

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), 6 Kildare St, Dublin 2

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Schedule of talks

5.20 – 5.30 Damien Burke: ‘The Jesuits in 1917’
5.30 – 5.40 Jennifer Redmond: ‘Women’s experiences of 1916’
5.40 – 5.50 Dominic Price: ‘The importance of historical sources in inspiring a
cross-curricular approach for involving students in history’

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6.20 – 6.30 Paul Huddie: ‘The Nursing Branch of the military charity, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association’
6.30 – 6.40 Mary McAuliffe: ‘Revolutionary Women, Politics and Propaganda, 1917-1918’
6.40 – 6.50 Blair Halliday: ‘The shooting of my Mother on Easter Monday 1916’

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Letters 1916 – 1923 Launch

7.00 – 7.10 Professor Susan Schreibman: ‘Letters 1916 – 1923: The Birth of a Nation’
7.10 – 7.20 Robert Doyle: ‘Discovering a treasure trove – Eamonn Ó Modhráin’s letters’
7.20 – 7.30 LAUNCH: Professor Linda Connolly

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8.10 – 8.20 Joseph Peter Quinn: ‘Irish-born soldiers who served in the American Expeditionary Forces during WW1’
8.20 – 8.30 Tessa Finn: ‘May Fay and James Finn’s love letters from 1916’
8.30 – 8.40 Tom Burke: ‘Poppy / Armistice Day in Dublin, ten years after
Passchendaele.’
8.40 – 8.50 Ida Milne: ‘Letters from gaol: the ‘German’ plot internees and the
1918-19 flu’

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9.20 – 9.30 Brian Hughes: ‘The Truce period, July 1921–c.June 1922’
9.30 – 9.40 Billy Campbell: ‘The Truce and its consequences’
9.40 – 9.50 Andrea Martin: ‘The significance of Letters 1916 – 1923 for individual and
collective identity 100 years later’

 


Culture Night is an annual event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. This year, it will take place on Friday 22nd September 2017. On Culture Night, arts and cultural organisations and venues of all shapes and sizes, including the National Cultural Institutions, extend their opening hours to allow for increased access to the public. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and everything is available free of charge.