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Waterford City & County Council’s Archives Exhibitions offer a fascinating window into the rich history and heritage of Waterford. Spanning various themes, these pages delve into aspects of World War I, the 1916-1918 period, shipwrecks off the Waterford coast, and many other interesting topics.

Waterford and World War I

The following exhibition provides a glimpse into aspects of the First World War and life in Waterford 1914-1918 from the archives held in Waterford City and County.

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Waterford 1916-1918

Waterford from 1916-1918 was a time of rebellion.

Our exhibition “Waterford from 1916-1918” explores the region’s intricate history during a pivotal era of Irish nationalism and the First World War. Read about Waterford’s support for Home Rule under John Redmond’s leadership and the city’s response to the outbreak of the First World War, which saw the Home Rule Bill suspended and a call for Irish nationalists to join the British Armed Forces​​.

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Shipwrecks off the Waterford Coast 1914-1918

The exhibition “Shipwrecks off the Waterford Coast 1914-1918” provides an account of the numerous shipwrecks that occurred along the Waterford coast during the First World War.

This period saw intense naval conflict between the German and British navies, with the introduction of U-boats significantly escalating the danger to ships. The exhibition highlights the military conflicts and also acknowledges the natural forces that led to many maritime disasters during this period​​.

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River Blackwater Maps

This exhibition explores the importance of the River Blackwater in County Waterford’s landscape.

Rising in County Kerry, the river is a vital resource, especially for fishing. Historical disputes and conservation efforts related to the river’s resources are documented, with records dating back to the 17th century from the Lismore Estate, providing an extensive view of the river’s history and significance.

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Holy Cross Church, Tramore

Focusing on Holy Cross Church in Tramore, this exhibition showcases the church’s Gothic Revival architecture, constructed between 1856 and 1871.

Designed by architect James Joseph McCarthy, the church is a national landmark of architectural, artistic, technical, and social significance. The exhibition includes donated papers from the descendants of the stonemasons who worked on the church​​.

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Notorious Women !

The exhibition “Notorious Women” explores the impact of 19th-century societal views on women, highlighting how these historical perspectives continue to influence women’s lives in Waterford.

During this era, women were typically categorized either as the vulnerable “Angel of the House”, needing protection and support, or as individuals of questionable character. This binary perception significantly influenced how women were treated.

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Storybox: Licence to Dance

As part of the “Explore Your Archive Campaign,” this exhibition delves into the history of dance halls in County Waterford.

Browse through the Public Dance Halls Act of 1935, which required dance halls to obtain licenses and adhere to certain standards. The exhibition presents a rich archive of local dance halls and lore, providing a glimpse into the region’s social and cultural history​​.

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Storybox: A Step in Time

This exhibition offers a historical journey through Waterford’s footwear, showcasing shoes from various eras and social contexts. It provides a unique perspective on the region’s history through the lens of footwear, from the finest fashions to the most practical designs​​.

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Curraghmore Vouchers

Focusing on the wonderful 19th-century Curraghmore Estate, this exhibition presents a collection of charitable vouchers issued by the estate. These vouchers, dating from 1891 to 1900, were redeemable at local shops for goods.

Often given during Christmas or June, read about recipients, purchase dates, and items bought. They offer insights into local consumption patterns, including purchases of coal, food, and materials like calico, serge, and flannel for clothing​​.

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Youghal Bridge - A Brief History

Youghal Bridge, opened on 23rd January 1963, has a history dating back to 1828, when an Act was passed for its construction across the River Blackwater, linking County Cork and Waterford.  Read about how the bridge evolved over the intervening years.

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Waterford & The Royal College of Physicians

The exhibition “Waterford & The Royal College of Physicians” delves into the historical connections between the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and County Waterford.

These archives, offering insights into the management of these lands, are preserved in Waterford City and County Archive, highlighting the significance of archival research in uncovering historical connections​​.

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