Launched in 2013, the It Seems History is to Blame programme is being run by Cork City Library. The aim of the programme is to augment our understanding of the events from 1913-1923 – what happened, and why – and also “to learn lessons for our own time.”
So far, projects as part of this programme have included The Crucial 100: one hundred books which inspired a revolution and Europe’s Last Summer, amongst others. One of the 2015 projects sought public suggestions on an Irish National Day.
As I was exploring the City Library website, however, what caught my eye was a digital centenary map of the major events of 1913-1923 around Cork City.
I found this map particularly interesting – not only because of my interest in history, but also because of the use that was made of digital tools for its presentation. Here we have a prime example of local history becoming easily accessible to the public. The interactive map and familiar place names encourage the viewer to engage with the tool. It also, on the educational level, incites him to view his local area in a different light – as a place surrounded by meaning and memories.
The use of the digital for our edification is becoming increasingly relevant nowadays. I believe that Cork City Library has taken an important step in the edification of the public by digitising some of the city’s local history.