Video: Discussing Forgotten Irish Emigrants at the National Archives, Washington D.C.

Last week I had the great honour of taking part in a discussion and audience Q&A at the National Archives in Washington D.C. with Dr. Michael Hussey of NARA and Professor David Gleeson of Northumbria University. The event was followed by the American launch of my book The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America, which draws primarily on widows and dependent files housed in NARA’s collections. For a bit more of the backstory behind my work on these files, you can check out the National Archives News article on my visit by clicking here. During the trip I also got to meet Mr. David Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United States. Mr. Ferriero has roots in Co. Cork, so I was delighted to present him with a copy of the book I recently wrote for Cork County Council on Cork’s revolutionary past. The Forgotten Irish discussion in the McGowan Theater was very well attended and we had some excellent interaction with the audience. I want to extend my thanks to all the staff at the National Archives who made the event possible, and who took such good care of us on the night.

The full event is now available to view on YouTube, which you can see below- the main discussion begins at the 12.21 mark. I would be keen to hear reader’s thoughts!


It is worth noting that for anyone near D.C., you can get 15% of my book in the Archives shop when you mention the presentation. The book itself dosen’t go on general release in the States until May, so for the next few weeks it is the only place to get it. While in the Archives I took the opportunity to do some archival research into some Irish-related topics, so watch this space in the next few weeks for some posts on that material.

A debt of gratitude is also due to photographer Bruce Guthrie, who took some great shots of the event, some of which are also shared below. You can check out Bruce’s homepage here.


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Categories: Events

Author:Damian Shiels

I am an archaeologist based in Ireland, specialising in conflict archaeology.

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6 Comments on “Video: Discussing Forgotten Irish Emigrants at the National Archives, Washington D.C.”

  1. March 20, 2017 at 7:19 pm #

    Looks like you got a great crowd. I have seen a few of these at the Archives with a couple dozen people in the audience, so I was hoping your trip would be worth it. When I posted about this speech a couple of readers wrote to say they were going to attend. I have not had time to watch the whole video yet, but I certainly will. Nice to see the trip also gave you exposure on the archives’s web site, the Washington Post, and that the youtube video is already at 1,000 views.

  2. Patrick Hayes
    March 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    It was a fine crowd, with scores attending. Historians of nineteenth-century Irish America are going to be forever grateful that you cut a path for them to the pension records held at the National Archives.

    • April 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks Patrick, and great to meet you, really looking forward to tucking into the book!

  3. John Murphy
    March 21, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    Well done Damian. What a great event and opportunity for you to meet staff and introduce your book. Looking forward to getting my copy in May.

  4. John Murphy
    March 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    ‘The Heritage Centenary Sites of Rebel Co. Cork’
    Damian, this book you mention might be of interest to me. Is there any reference to Fota or happenings around there and Carrigtwohill during the trouble.
    If so, how might I obtain a copy?
    John Murphy

  5. March 24, 2017 at 12:41 am #

    Thank you, Chris

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