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"Views of Four Presidencies (1938-1975)" - exhibition of the records of the Office of the Secretary to the President

Introduction (an Irish language version of this introduction is also available)

Photograph of President Douglas Hyde with participants in the Cumann Drámaídheachta na Sgol competition at the awards ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin, 30 March 1939.Welcome to "Views of Four Presidencies (1938-1975)", the online exhibition of records from the Office of the Secretary to the President. The exhibition features an administrative history of the Office, a searchable database of material spanning five decades, together with digitised images of over forty documents selected from the collection of records of the Office of the Secretary to the President. The latter office, which came into being when the Office of President was established under the Constitution of 1937, supports the President in the fulfillment of her/his role, in addition to heading the Áras Secretariat.

Photograph of President McAleese viewing the online exhibition in the National Archives The Office of President of Ireland is accurately reflected through the records of the Secretary to the President and it is hoped that this exhibition will illustrate not only the functions performed by the President, but will also document the position occupied by the office in Irish political life and in our political culture.

The exhibition consists of the following components: a commentary on the Office of President of Ireland by the historian Dr Diarmaid Ferriter; an administrative history of the Office of the Secretary to the President; descriptions of the three series of records generated by the latter office; a searchable finding aid database to the records themselves; an online gallery of digitised documents drawn from the collection; a timeline and finally, a glossary of Irish terms used in the exhibition. The thumbnails which feature throughout the following pages can be enlarged to full size by double-clicking on the image itself - to return to the original page, click the "Back" button rather than the "Close this window" button.

The latter includes document types as diverse as photographs, brochures, memoranda, letters and architectural plans, and it is hoped that their online display will give our cyber visitors a flavour of the variety of records to be found in this rich collection of archives. The documents which have been digitised for display in this exhibition are also available for consultation by members of the public in the Reading Room of the National Archives and we welcome readers who would like to examine them in person. Further information on the Office of the President of Ireland and its holders is also available on the official website of Áras an Uachtaráin.

To browse the exhibition, please click on any of the following navigation links:

Commentary by Dr Diarmaid Ferriter

Administrative history of the Office of the Secretary to the President

Record series descriptions

Searchable finding aid database

Online gallery of documents from the collection