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The Venue

Library & Archives Bursary 2016

In 2016 the Library & Archives engaged in a research project focusing on its agricultural archive to examine the work of the RDS on the application of science and technology in agricultural techniques in Ireland over the last three centuries.

The RDS Library & Archives sought expressions of interest from postgraduate researchers to complete a research study on a topic of interest within the RDS Agricultural Archive. Dr Míchéal Ó Fáthartaigh was awarded a research bursary of €8,000. Dr Míchéal Ó Fáthartaigh completed a research paper for presentation at a conference on the history of agriculture in Ireland held at the RDS in September 2016.

Remarkable Transformations: Reassessing the history of agriculture in Ireland was a one day conference organized by the RDS Library & Archives. All presentations given on the day are available to view through the RDS Youtube channel.

For any queries regarding the RDS Agriculture Archive, please contact the Library Desk by telephone 01 2407 254 or via email librarydesk@rds.ie

Recording, post-production and dissemination of these proceedings has been made possible by financial support provided in memory of Liam Diarmuid Bergin (1913-1994), quondam Editor of the Nationalist and Leinster Times, and innovator in the coverage of agricultural affairs.

Panel 1: Dynamics of Irish Agricultural Change

Chair: Dr Cormac Ó Gráda

  • Speaker 1 Professor Peter Solar – ‘What We Know and What We Don’t Know about Pre-Famine Agriculture’.
  • Speaker 2- Dr Catriona Curtis – ‘The Irish agricultural labourer 1922-1973: a story of inevitable poverty and decline?’
  • Speaker 3 – Dr Carla King – ‘Inundated with leaflets’? The policies of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, 1900-7'.

Panel 2: Innovation and the politics of change

Chair: Professor Mary Daly (President RIA)

  • Speaker 1- Dr Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh – ‘We have gone through quite sufficient in this distracted country: agriculture and the RDS and independent Ireland’s resolve to get along’.
  • Speaker 2 – Professor Liam Kennedy – ‘Reflections on the Formation of the Irish Co-operative Movement.
  • Speaker 3 – Dr Joanne Banks – ‘‘If we could roll back the time...’: Life history perspectives of the agricultural adviser’.

Panel 3: Agricultural Journalism

Chair: Professor David Dickson

  • Speaker 1 - Mr Matt Dempsey – [Note this talk is not currently available on Youtube]
  • Speaker 2 – Ms Barbara Hussey – ‘If you show me better then I must change’ – Justin Keating

Panel 4: Climate & Smart Agriculture Past and Future

Chair: Dr Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh

  • Speaker 1 – Dr David Stead – ‘Irish agriculture and agricultural policy during the extreme weather events of the mid-1970s’.  
  • Speaker 2 – Dr James F. Collins – ‘The indispensable soil--object and product of many transformations, both remarkable and commonplace’.
  • Speaker 3 –Joe Curtin – ‘How can Irish agriculture become "climate-smart" in response to European climate policy?’

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