World Within Walls collection

Depositors: Health Service Executive

The World Within Walls collection relates the histories and memories of the St. Davnet’s Campus psychiatric hospital in Monaghan town. When first opened in 1869 the site was known as the Monaghan and Cavan Lunatic Asylum. Since this time many people have lived and worked on the site as patients or staff. This collection captures a portion of the memories of these people, with the earliest interview covering what work was like in the 1930s. The collection also tracks the changes that have taken place since this time, reflecting changing attitudes to the treatment of mental health issues.

The World Within Walls collection has been archived at the Irish Qualitative Data Archive and consists of transcripts and audio recordings from oral history interviews with former patients, staff and key informants, an extensive collection of images that were created and donated during the course of the project, and a number of scanned documents, maps and plans of the hospital and grounds.

The World Within Walls digital archive is part of a wider local history project commissioned and funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and delivered by Stair: An Irish Public History company under the guidance of the HSE World Within Walls project reference group. The World Within Walls project aims to remember St. Davnet's history and its evolution from District Asylum in 1869, to psychiatric hospital, and now to its present role as a modern community mental health services campus.

The images, maps and plans, plus a small collection of audio clips from these interviews are openly available to the public (see Sub-collections). Access to the full collection of audio and transcript material is through application to the Irish Qualitative Data Archive and is restricted to bona fide academic researchers and teachers, and to students who are currently registered at a third-level academic institution. All researchers and users of the World Within Walls archive should read the support documents and guidelines relevant to them (see Sub-collections) and follow the guidelines provided. More information about the World Within Walls project is available on the World Within Walls project website.

Access this collection on the Digital Repository of Ireland