Local Historians and Researchers have reacted with alarm and anger at the closure of the Local History Studies Service in Wicklow County Libraries.
The Service, based in Ballywaltrim Library in Bray, houses a wealth of historical documents, including ordnance Survey maps, parish maps, place histories local newspapers dating back to 1858as well as local newspapers dating back to 1858. Co. Wicklow is one of the few Counties without a County Museum, and this move is further evidence of a sidelining of heritage within County.
Given less than a week’s notice of the closure of this Service, Local Historians mounted an online campaign, which within the space of three days gained the support of over 600 people, from Co. Wicklow and further afield.
Despite this, and pressure being placed on local representatives and TDs, the Service locked its doors on Friday, and to date repeated requests for a meeting to discuss interim options to keep the service open, albeit on a very limited basis has been ignored. People wishing to support and keep up to date on the campaign should visit the campaign page on facebook http://www.facebook.com/wicklowlocalhistory, and sign an online petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-local-historical-studies-service-in-wicklow/
Campaign spokesperson, Local Historian Jim Rees, Author of ‘The Life of Captain Robert Halpin’, ‘A farewell to Famine’ and ‘Arklow – The Story of a Town’ amongst others, will gave an interview on east Coast Radio on Tuesday 1st July at 10.50am about the importance of this service.