Early summer of 2015 saw work begin on the extensive collection of historical papers of the late Michael O’Donohoe, NT.
Researcher, Janet Murphy was appointed back then to carry out the work on the collection. Her task is to transfer it from folders of amazing papers to a web-based archive of material which will be of benefit to anyone researching history in the Castleisland area.
Ms. Murphy has done an end-of-year progress report on the work to date. The illustration which accompanies the report is from a page of a roll book from the Castleisland Boys’ National School.
Janet Murphy’s Report reads as follows:
“It is little more than eight months since the process of cataloguing the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project began. Work continues to be carried out from office premises in Main Street where the O’Donohoe papers are currently stored while work is in progress.
An itemised description of the contents of the collection was commenced in May 2015 and digital scanning and transcription of documents where appropriate. The collection consists of 88 themed folders, and to date 44 have been ordered, numbered, recorded and digitised where appropriate.
The Diary of Robert O’Kelly numbers among the documents held in the collection and was prepared for publication online and in print format to celebrate the occasion of National Heritage Week, 22-30 August 2015, and also the preparation of a website.
A short film, ‘The Master’s Legacy’, was also made in Castleisland for National Heritage Week by John Reidy (committee PRO) in which family and friends of the late Michael O’Donohoe were invited to reminisce on their relationship with him. The film, of 15 minutes duration, was edited and produced by Michael Reidy (http://www.mdgd.net) who designed (and manages) the website.
Since its publication, more information on the Diary of Robert O’Kelly has come to light, including the discovery of a missing page in the copy held in the collection. A photocopy of the original (handwritten) manuscript has also been acquired, and the location of the original may also have been identified. The Diary has been revised in light of the new information (though not as yet printed).
The Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project website was launched on Friday 4 September 2015 at 32 Main Street, Castleisland by Minister Jimmy Deenihan, TD. The website address is www.odonohoearchive.com.
Material catalogued to date is currently being prepared for the website, which demands a different approach to content. In essence, there are currently two styles of literature being produced for public access to the material.
An accessions facility has been created to document material generated independent of and/or relevant to the collection. A reference and storage system has been introduced for this purpose. The accessions list currently numbers twelve.
The committee continues to meet on a weekly basis and remains the driving force in the project. Itemisation of the collection will continue in the manner described above with a view to the compilation of a detailed catalogue of O’Donohoe’s research material with online access. This presents a commendable resource for those with an interest in the history of Castleisland and its surrounds.”
Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project
17 November 2015