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DIFP and second-level history

11 October 2018

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PDF icon DIFP Treaty leaflet PDF icon RIA Emergency TY module

Explore how DIFP can be used in the classrom through both our online archive and dedicated educational resources

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy is a public resource that publishes selected documents from the archives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1919 onwards. Every two years we publish a hard-copy edition of documents. but we also place the contents of the volumes online. Our online archive currently runs from 1919 up to 1945 and is free to access; we are hoping to make more volumes available online soon, and to make the online archive more user-friendly for teachers and students as a resource for exploring and teaching history at second-level.

The contents of the archive are far more diverse then one might think. At the core of it are diplomatic despatches and reports from a wide range of countries – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the US – that contain accounts of what they heard and saw in their various postings, including the only English language diplomatic reports from Nazi Germany during the Second World War. There are accounts of meetings with key figures such as Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and the documents in the archives cover topics as diverse as the Irish revolution, the Versailles Peace Conference, the Boundary Commission, Anglo-Irish relations, the unravelling of the Treaty, the Economic War, the rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s, the Irish overseas, neutrality and the ‘Emergency’, and much more in the way of political, military and social history. All of the material in the online archive is open access and freely available to use.

The documents in the DIFP archive aren’t just about Ireland; they have a lot to say about the wider world, so could be used to teach international as well as Irish history, and there is plenty of material that could also be used for the Leaving Cert history Research Study Report.

We currently have two bespoke resources for second-level history.

The first is an ebook of the correspondence relating to the Anglo-Irish Treaty between 1920 and 1922, with an accompanying guide to the Treaty. This is relevant to the Treaty case study in 'The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912-1949'. The ebook can be downloaded here, and you can download a copy of the accompanying leaflet here

The second resource is a Transition Year teaching module on the 'Emergency', between 1939 and 1945. This has been developed in collaboration with the RIA's Dictionary of Irish Biography, and consists of a selection of documents drawn from the DIFP archive, arranged thematically and augmented with contextual material (including material from the DIB) and a short guide to how the material in the module can be used for Junior Cert history. The module is a draft, and we will welcome feedback as we work towards the finalised version: the draft version can be downloaded here for use in the classroom.

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