Irish Community & Culture
As part of Islington Irish Month, we are collaborating with London Met University’s Archive of the Irish in Britain.
Each week through March, we will share a digital item from the archive with some commentary from the Special Collections team.
To find out more or to visit the Archive, click here.
The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, visited London Metropolitan University’s campus on the Holloway Road in May 2016 to view collections from the Archive of the Irish in Britain, one the university’s principal Special Collections.
Formally a part of London Met’s Irish Studies Centre – which was celebrating its 30th anniversary in the Autumn of that year – the Archive contains compelling artefacts relating to the Irish community’s experience in London and the wider UK.
President Higgins was shown a display of items from the Archive, including the first edition of The Irish Post newspaper and the archive’s oldest item, a Victorian book on Irish saints in Britain.
Speaking on how he was impressed by the Archive, President Higgins commented:
“The Archive is an important part of Irish heritage and in particular its migrant history. The artefacts on display show the generosity of Irish families who have made their lives in London. The great migratory wave of the ‘50s is very important as is the material on the origins of the Chaplaincy Service and the Federation of Country Associations. The very early material in Irish, in the original Irish font, has valuable material that includes the work of Ireland’s first President Dubhghlas de hÍde and work by the famous migrant writer Donal Mac Amhlaigh.”