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Showing posts from October, 2015

Crazy Confectionery Collectors....WOOOOOOO!

Special collections and archives house unique one-off priceless pieces of historically valuable and irreplaceable material. This material can be made out of paper, skin, wood, bone, metal, animal – you name it and it is most likely stored away and cared for in an archive. When you think of these unique and priceless items; the Book of Kells, the Magna Carta, a letter written by Padraig Pearse. These are the types of things that can spring to mind.......not necessarily sweet wrappers. But never fear lovers of all things sweet and  confectionery  related! There is an  archivist or two out there who is  squirrelling away all the  shiny  paper, crinkly bags, plastic wrappings that once covered sweets of any and every sort. Yummy sweets from the 1980s Want to know more about these  confectionery  collectors or indeed why they exist?? Click here and here        H a p p y H a l l o w e e n

Give Your Right Mummified Arm!

What could a pioneering Irish boxer, grave robbers and RCSI have in common?? Remember it is Halloween..... A 200 year old preserved right arm of course!! Dan Donnelly's right arm  He's pointing at you! Dan Donnelly was born in Townsend Street, Dublin in March 1788. He was one of 17 children growing up in the harsh living condition faced by the majority of Dubliners in the late 18th century. Donnelly was a carpenter by trade but was known in Dublin for being a hard drinker and an even harder hitter! Donnelly was known by RCSI surgeons from an incident in his youth. He rescued a lady from being attacked by two sailors down by the docks but in the fight his arm was badly mangled. Donnelly was brought to Abraham Colles  who operated and saved Donnelly's arm from amputation. Colles described Donnelly as a 'pocket Hercules' to his surgical friends. Dan Donnelly (1788-1820) George Cooper  Donnelly's

Sealed With A Waxy Disc!

Detail of wax seal from RCSI 1784 Charter with George III depicted on horseback RCSI was founded in 1784 by a royal charter being granted by King George III. The recently conserved charter can be seen here with it's large wax seal intact. These wax seals were very important as they authenticated the document they were attached to. A seal was a device which made an impression in wax, clay, paper. The seal with a unique and specific design was pressed into the wax, clay or embossed on to paper by the author 'sealing' their name, rank, power, honour to the document. Most seals have always given a single impression on an essentially flat surface. But in medieval Europe two-sided seals with two matrices were often used by institutions or rulers (eg. towns, bishops, aristocracy, royalty) to make two-sided or fully three dimensional impressions in wax, with a 'tag' (a piece of ribbon running through them attaching them to the document). These 'pendant' sea

A Doll's Innards?

In the heritage collections and archive world you get used to coming across odd things; a collection of hair in an envelope, a framed picture made of saint's relics and rude drawings done by a gentleman travelling around Europe in the 1700s.   Yesterday the Heritage Collections received the receipt above in the post. It was sent in by the lovely people in the Doll's Hospital in Dublin. They attached a note explaining that while doing repair work on an old doll they found this receipt inside the doll!  I wonder if little Miss O'Connor ever told her father where she had hidden his receipt! - Researched and written by Meadhbh Murphy