What you maybe meant to keep: Irish Political Ephemera

What you maybe meant to keep: Irish Political Ephemera

What you maybe meant to keep” – Irish Political Ephemera

25 March – 27 May 2014
End date extended to 22 June 2014

The National Print Museum hosts an exhibition of Irish political ephemera covering general and local elections, referendums, as well as European and presidential elections from the 1970s onwards. The exhibition involves a number of aspects of the political experience – from the ballot paper to the final outcome. The material, dating primarily from the 1970s to the early 2010s, encompasses election leaflets, posters, and pamphlets – all of which were designed and printed in Ireland. It is chiefly drawn from a collection begun by Alan Kinsella of the online repository, Irish Election Literature, as well as including materials from the Irish Left Archive. The parties and personalities covered in this exhibition document the changes in Irish political, social and economic life spanning more than four decades. The exhibition is a testament to how seemingly insignificant ephemeral materials can achieve significant meaning and value beyond their basic use.

Exhibition curators

Alan Kinsella started collecting election material during the February 1982 general election and has since amassed a collection of around 8,000 political leaflets and posters. He is the founder and curator of the Irish Election Literature repository (http://irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com). Graduating in 1992 from NUI Maynooth with a degree in Sociology, Anthropology, History and Greek and Roman Civilization, Alan now works in the area of new media. His collection and knowledge of elections and Irish politics has led to a number of media appearances. He is regularly invited to give talks on elections and election material in colleges across Ireland.

Dr Ciarán Swan works in the area of political design and identity in Dáil Éireann. He has lectured in NCAD since 2003 in Visual Culture. In 1998 he completed an MA in Design History specialising in the imagery of Irish political parties. In 2005 he completed a PhD in Design History on the topic of the imagery of state and semi-state organisations in Ireland from 1920. He is a member of the Curatorial Committee of the National Print Museum and is along with Aonghus Storey a co-curator of Irish Left Archive (http://www.clririshleftarchive.org).

The exhibition was be accompanied by a short tour and lecture series with its curators on the following dates: Thursday 3 April, 18.30; Thursday 10 April, 18.30; Sunday 13 April, 11.00; and Thursday 1 May, 18.30.

CSPE and Transition Year Election Education Programme April – May 2014

As part of the ‘What you maybe meant to keep’ – Irish Election Political Ephemera exhibition and in the lead up to Irish local elections in May 2014, the National Print Museum ran an activity based Election Education Programme for CSPE and Transition Year students.

Curriculum links: Active Citizenship – Democracy – The State: Ireland – Activity Based Learning
Topical issues: Voting (PR-STV) – Elections – Political Parties – Ministers – TDs – Senators – Taoiseach – Dáil – President – Local Government.

The exhibition travelled to the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross in September 2014.