More than two hundred and fifty years ago—in the midst of the world's first global war—an Irish wine ship returning home from the French port of Bordeaux was captured at sea by a British warship.
In January 2011, the mailbag from that ship, the Two Sisters of Dublin, was discovered by a New York University professor. These letters, most of them only recently opened for the first time, are the basis of a major exhibition in the Mamdouha S. Bobst Gallery at New York University's Bobst Library — The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757: The Voice of an Irish Community Abroad.
Drawing on world-class collections of art and never-before-seen historical documents, The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters exhibition takes you back to a time when thriving communities of Irishmen played a prominent role on the European continent.
The exhibition at NYU's Bobst Library reconstructs the early years of the Seven Years’ War, tells the story of the fateful voyage of the Two Sisters of Dublin, and underscores the significance of the Irish presence in Europe and America.
But the heart of the exhibit is the extraordinary collection of letters discovered in 2011. Through them, the voice of an Irish community abroad comes alive, and we enter into a private and intimate world inhabited by ordinary men and women separated from their homeland by war.
The exhibition is open to the public 9am-6pm daily October 25, 2013 to March 23, 2014. Photo ID required to enter the library.
Click here to see an expanded view of the exhibit guide.
Information on all aspects of the Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, including the corresponding academic conference and book, can be found here.
Read about the exhibit in NYU Alumni Magazine.