Carved Halloween turnip from about 1850 in the National Museum of Ireland. Photograph: Country Life/ Wikimedia Commons

Stories rarely stay the same over time. They change, evolve, become symbol and metaphor - especially when people move to new places and different myth(...)

Headless horseman pursuing Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irvine. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Halloween is fast approaching and it’s time to delve back in the origins of Irish traditions and explore how Samhain became Halloween. Irish ghost st(...)

George M Cohan and Ida Darling in Broadway Jones in 1917. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

To celebrate Heritage Week, we’re focusing on this year’s theme of “past times” - reflecting on the popular culture which came from the movement of Ir(...)

Rose O’Halloran and her telescope. Image sketched by a San Francisco Call artist in 1895.

In 1895, Marie Evelyn, a journalist from the San Francisco Call was sent to interview an eccentric local figure, one Ms Rose O’Halloran, amateur astro(...)

Mary Swanzy got to know the work of Picasso from viewing his paintings at soirees organised by Gertrude Stein in Paris.

“To be an artist… you have to be very severe with your amount of energy… To have an overriding hobby, that’s the secret. Mine was an overriding hobby,(...)

Daisy Bates lived with Aboriginal communities for forty years, compiling dictionaries of regional dialects, mythology and legends.

Born in Tipperary in 1859 and dying in Australia in 1951, Daisy Bates’ life spanned almost a century of intense social change. Orphaned at a young age(...)

In 1903, Melville surprised newspaper readers and crime fans by announcing his retirement. In truth, he had been recruited by the War Office for the new intelligence gathering agencies which would become MI5 and MI6.

Like many Irish emigrants, parts of William Melville’s history are uncertain. Family lore, as recounted in the excellent research curator Helen O’Carr(...)

Isabella Valancy Crawford was born in Dublin in 1850.

Isabella Vlancy Crawford was born in Dublin in 1850. Despite obscurity in her own lifetime, she is now recognised as a pioneer of Canadian poetry. We(...)

Monica de Wichfeld - a woman who refused to conform

If Monica de Wichfeld’s life was a movie, it might win one Oscar for costume design, and another for best actress. An aristocratic mainstay of the Eu(...)

Even the smallest lives can create ripples in history. On the face of it, Ann Glover’s life would appear to be relatively insignificant, the date and (...)

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