The Savita Halappanavar Memorial Collection has been published by Dublin City Council’s Library and Archive (DCLA) on the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI).
The collection brings together photographs commissioned by DCLA in May 2018 of the hundreds of personal notes left by the public at the mural of Savita Halappanavar during the 2018 referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
The mural was painted by the artist ‘Aches’ on South Richmond Street, beside the Bernard Shaw pub.
The photographs are being published by DCLA and DRI as part of the Archiving Reproductive Health (ARH) project.
Preserving these images in DRI means that they will be archived and accessible long into the future.
Lorraine McLoughlin, Dublin City Archivist said: “In keeping with our collections policy, Dublin City Library and Archive commissioned a photographer to take photographs of the mural and the notes on 29 May 2018.
“There were an estimated 1,200 cards on the mural on that date, though not all were completely legible due to their positioning. We preserved, catalogued and added these images to our digital collections.
“The memorial and notes which are captured in these photographs provide us with evidence of this unique moment in history. Capturing and preserving these key moments in the history and story of Dublin – and making them available to future generations – are key functions of Dublin City Archives, a service of Dublin City Council.”
Clare Lanigan, Digital Archivist for Archiving Reproductive Health said that the “Archiving Reproductive Health has been working since 2021 to collect and archive digital material relating to the story of reproductive rights in Ireland.
“The referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment was a key part of that story, and the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar woke up many people to the urgent need for repeal.
“We’re glad to be able to work with DCLA on publishing this collection, and we hope that it honours the memory of Savita and the heartfelt notes left by so many ordinary people during those memorable days in 2018.”
The Archiving Reproductive Health project at the Digital Repository of Ireland is funded by Wellcome and is collecting and preserving digital material relating to the history of reproductive rights in Ireland, including the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment in 2018.