EPIC, Ireland's Emigration Museum has launched a campaign to collect emigrant stories from people who have lived overseas and returned home, as well as those with emigrant family members or ancestors.
As part of a special Europe-wide project, the interactive museum in Dublin’s Docklands is inviting people to come along on the weekend of May 26th and 27th to share their stories of migration.
People are encouraged to bring along objects that are part of their family’s migration story. They can be any sort of object: letters, postcards, photographs, tickets, diaries, artworks, items of clothing, recipes, books, footage, mementos, badges, or songs.
EPIC’s Story Collecting will take place on the final weekend in May from 10am-5pm. The stories will then become part of the online Europeana Migration Collection, as well as featuring on EPIC’s website. Europeana Collections is Europe’s digital library, museum, gallery and archive. The project aims to show how the flow of people and ideas adds to the richness of culture.
Jessica Traynor, Deputy Museum Director of EPIC said: "The Irish are a nation of emigrants – our history and identity has long been shaped by the comings and goings of people – we all know someone who has moved to the UK, US, Australia, Canada or further afield. But emigration is no longer the one-way journey it was in the past, and many of us have lived overseas and returned. As a digital museum, we want to preserve these stories for future generations.
"We are encouraging young and old to share their story with us. On the day, we will listen to your story and photograph your objects so you can take them home again. What you bring just needs to have special meaning or memories attached to it – it doesn’t need to be worth a lot."
Two further Story Collecting Weekends will take place during 2018 at EPIC. On August 18th-19th, the focus will be on New Irish Communities, while on November 24th-25th stories of Women Migrants will be collected.