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Irish Left Archive: Acquisitions Fund Appeal 2020 – “A Proclamation for the Left, Project” April 1, 2020

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.

Today we launch a very special appeal and you’ll find more information at the following link. The Irish Left Archive has been collecting foundational documents from the Irish Left since 2007. To that end a range of materials stretching from individual publications by left formations to policy documents or documents of particular historical interest such as the Clár from the pivotal 1986 Sinn Féin Ard Fhéis or Fine Gael’s Just Society pamphlet have been added to the collection. While we do not have material from every organisation represented on the Timeline of the Irish Left we do have materials from most.

Throughout the aim has been to have a comprehensive, albeit not exhaustive, representation of the output of materials across the broad sweep or the Irish left, or those documents perceived to have some left-wing content. For the Archive the point is not to have every edition of the United Irishman or An Phoblacht, or the Bottom Dog or Voice of Revolution but instead to have at least one copy of each allowing those with an interest in the area to have a sense of what positions these formations and their public manifestation took.

We have also had a small collection of posters and other printed material which are accessible on the site here.

However at this point we believe it is now appropriate to become more ambitious. There are a range of documents that hitherto have been beyond our capacity to acquire – for many reasons, not least financial. And yet they are of supreme historical importance and acquiring them for the Archive would be of enormous benefit.

To that end we start an appeal for a Left Archive Acquisitions Fund. Our initial goal is to acquire a copy of the 1916 Proclamation – as the foundational document of modern Irish Republicanism and Republican Socialism. While Proclamations were valued in the early to mid €100,000s during the earlier part of the decade, it is notable that in more recent years the asking prices have dropped substantially. So much so that we believe we could be looking at as little as €100,000 to purchase a museum standard copy (note the price of a recent sale here). We have provisionally titled this as the “A Proclamation for the Left, Project” and believe it is feasible to raise sufficient funds to purchase one early to mid-2021.

Of course the fund will not be simply for one document. Our intention is to seek copies of many other documents and publications and we would welcome suggestions. We will be releasing details of how you can assist in fund-raising, either through direct donations, or fund-raising events later this year and early next, including pub-quiz’s, online and off-line raffles, collecting lines in your community and so on. We believe this is an innovative way to publicise the work of the Left Archive and to involve you all as well.

To that end we will also be launching a “Comrades of the Left Archive” membership programme which will involve those interested purchasing various bands of membership with specific membership benefits including meeting the Archivists and the Special Archive Advisory Group, attendance at Left Archive archival meetings, dinners and entertainments and so on. All proceeds will go towards our goal of “A Proclamation for the Left, Project”. Again details of these will be released soon. This is a very special opportunity and we know you won’t want to miss out on it. Again you can sign up for this in the coming days at the Irish Left Archive and more information will be available in the very near future.

We thank you in advance for your support through the years for the Archive and look forward to your participation in these exciting new programmes.


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