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National Archives Launches Commemorative Book as Treaty Exhibition Embarks on Regional Tour of Ireland

Records from the Archives exhibition will tour Ireland following a four month stint at Dublin Castle, where the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921 went on public display for the first time in the history of the State. Following the success of the exhibition, the National Archives, in association with the Royal Irish Academy have also launched a limited edition commemorative book ‘The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives’.

The exhibition marks the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty (6 December 1921) and will tour Wicklow, Tipperary, Donegal, Wexford, Limerick and Cork from April until July 2022. The exhibition is presented by the National Archives in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Royal Irish Academy, the National Library of Ireland with records from the collections of the Military Archives and University College Dublin Archives.

A learning resource for schools has also been developed and will be available for secondary school teachers and pupils from next month.

Speaking in advance of the launch, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said, “as Minister with responsibility for the State’s Commemorations Programme, I am committed to ensuring that this complex period in our history is remembered appropriately and meaningfully. I am delighted therefore that this book, commemorating the Treaty negotiations and the ultimate signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, will contribute further to our understanding of this period in our history and with original records held in the collections of the National Archives will allow us to better reflect and appreciate the difficult decisions that were made at that time”.

At the launch of the book and the announcement of The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives regional tour, Orlaith McBride, Director of the National Archives said, “we are delighted to launch this exquisite publication. This illustrated book, based on the original exhibition, explores the negotiation and signing of the Treaty by the Irish delegation that travelled to London in October 1921, and their day-to-day experience of life in London as the negotiations moved towards their conclusion. It does so through the documentary record that they left behind, much of it retained by the National Archives in Dublin and other archives in Ireland. The exhibition on which this book is based will close this week in Dublin and will then tour to six counties across Ireland over the coming months. I am delighted that, together with the virtual tour, this important exhibition will be accessible to people across the country and further afield.”

Also speaking at the event in Dublin Castle, Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations, Maurice Manning said, “the exhibition through its wide and vivid range of documents, photos and newsreels captures as never before and humanises the drama that was the Treaty negotiations and does so in a way that evokes the personal stories and personalities with all the attendant tensions, hopes and disagreements. It represents a really significant contribution to our understanding of one of the most important few weeks in our country’s history. I am delighted that the exhibition will now embark on a regional tour”.

Written in conjunction with the Royal Irish Academy, ‘The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives’ is a collection of all of the records from 1921 that featured in the exhibition and is available from the Royal Irish Academy and book shops across the country.

A virtual exhibition is also available online at

This exhibition and book are presented as part of the Government of Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 National Programme.

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