The Letters of 1916 project is the first public humanities project in Ireland.
Join the hundreds of people who are helping us create a crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising (1 November 1915 – 31 October 1916) by contributing copies of letters to the database or transcribing previously uploaded letters
be part of the research process!
Letters 1916 includes letters held at institutions (in Ireland and abroad), alongside those in private collections. There are almost 1000 letters on the site — with many still open for transcription
. The range of letters thus far collected is wide and includes letters by private individuals, soldiers, and officials. Letters in the collection comment on the Easter Rising, literature and art, the Great War, politics, business, love, and ordinary life.
Through these letters the last word, the unspoken word, and the forgotten word are remembered. With the help of our contributors and transcribers, we are creating an online collection for the public, created by the public, that is already adding a new perspective to the events of the period, a confidential and intimate perspective that will help to create a new picture of early 20th Century life in Ireland.
St. Patrick's Day 1916 Postcard from Máire in Rathmore/Killarney to Piaras Béaslaí
National Library of Ireland
Letter from Diogenes Teufelsdrockh (John Moynihan) to his brother, Michael Moynihan, 21 May 1916. University College Dublin Archive
St. Patrick's Day 1916 Postcard from Máire in Rathmore/Killarney to Piaras Béaslaí. 16 March 1916. National Library of Ireland
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Marie Martin in 1915 (aged 23) in her VAD nurse's uniform following her three months of training at the Richmond Hospital, Dublin. (MMM Image Archive)
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The opening page of Sir Alfred Irwin’s 43-page letter from his home in Ailesbury Road to his daughter Dorothy in colonial Burma in which he describes the 1916 Rising in Dublin.
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Do you have a letter written between 1 November 1915 – 31 October 1916? Is it written to/from someone in Ireland? Play your part to create a picture of everyday life in Ireland as we seek to understand the events of 1916 alongside official documents and letters from public institutions. Contribute by uploading an image of your letter from this page and have your family history included.
Discover hidden stories in the letters of 1916. Help us reinterpret this formative period in Irish history. Improve access to historic documents by transcribing handwritten pages. Pick a topic you are interested in (the Rising, the Great War, love letters, etc.) and be part of the research process.
The Letters of 1916 was launched on 8 May 2014 at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM) to mark the move from Trinity College Dublin to its next phase at An Foras Feasa, The Institute for Research in Irish Historical and Cultural Traditions.
The Kildare launch was a great success! Both, the transcription and scanning lab went over the scheduled time due to many interesting conversations among the guests and the Letters 1916 team. A number of new letters were brought in for scanning and they will be uploaded for transcribing in coming weeks – watch this space.
Tank you all very much for coming, sharing your stories and joining us at that very lively event. Thank you to our speakers: Professor Susan Schreibman, Robert Doyle, Dr Brian Hughes, and Lar Joye – we hope to have video recordings of their talks up on the website this week for all those who missed the launch. And last but not least, thank you to the NUI Maynooth, An Foras Feasa staff members for helping us in organising and promoting the event!