William O'Neill with a group of volunteers.

William O'Neill with a group of volunteers.

About the project

Thanks to the Heritage Council Community Grant Scheme 2021, The Hunt Museum was able to scan two paper archives during July, August and September of 2021. The funding covered the purchase of two scanners which covered the requirements of two different paper archives.

The first contained original object cards from the Hunt collection. These cards illustrate the cataloguing system for objects and many have original photographs and sketches and give an interesting insight into the antiquarian world that John and Gertrude Hunt were part of.

The second was the archive relating to Sybil Connolly, the female fashion designer that catapulted Irish fashion design and Irish fabrics onto the world stage during the 1950s and 1960s. The Sybil archive contains a wealth of paper material such as scrapbooks that contain newspaper cutting that document her rise to fame on the world fashion stage. Making these archives available in digital form with the option of keyword searching through OCR technology will be invaluable to researchers, public and interest groups.  

This project was achieved under the guidance of William O’Neill, Historian and Collections Coordinator, Sian McInerney who oversaw a group of volunteers and museum docents, in digitisation, file management, archiving and preservation of the two archives. The project resulted in over 8,000 original scans including fashion sketches, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, fabrics and photographs from the Sybil Connolly archive and object cards from the Hunt archive. Take a look below for a sample of these preserved documents, the full collection of which will be shared on online platforms over the coming year.

Sybil Connolly paper collection, safely archived.

William O'Neill training a group of volunteers.

William O'Neill with a group of volunteers.

William O'Neill with a group of volunteers.

Sybil Sketchbooks, HM 2002.14 & HM 2002.15


To find out more about the Heritage Council Community Grants please click here

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