The Historian in Residence for Children is based in Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, and is part of the Dublin City Council Culture Company Creative Residencies programme in partnership with Dublin City Libraries.
The role involves bringing history to life, whilst fostering a lifelong connection to history. Dervilia Roche was announced as Dublin’s first Historian in Residence for Children in September 2020.
The project seeks to provide space, opportunity, and resources to help uncover the stories of Dublin and its people. Dervilia works with 9 to 12 year olds, to bring the past to life by exploring new ways to engage and connect.
The residency aims to empower children in their own personal journey of discovery through stories and history by:
Since her appointment as Historian in Residence for Children, Dervilia has engaged over 3,000 children through workshops and activities. She has delivered over 80 interactive sessions to school groups across Dublin. She has participated in the Dublin Festival of History and the Children’s Book Festival, and hosted a number of history-themed summer camps for children.
She also recently led a video project inviting children to explore their local history.
Dervilia runs regular in-person and online public workshops for children, collaborating with writers, illustrators, artists, and other historians. She hosts regular workshops for families, covering topics ranging from the history of castles in Dublin to the 1916 Easter Rising. Her workshops often discuss currently-celebrated festivals, their origins and exploration through crafts.
Dervilia runs a free monthly children’s history book club, both online and in-person ones at Richmond Barracks. Though facilitated by the historian in residence, Dervilia makes sure that the books discussed are a recommendation by children. These book clubs are perfect for 9-12 year olds. For queries or registration, email Dervilia Roche at email@example.com.
Dervilia has teamed up with illustrator John Farrelly of Deadly Irish History to create the ‘Hidden Histories Hunt’, a self-guided 3km treasure hunt for children in Dublin City, teaching them about the city's buildings, bridges, history and little-known facts. The treasure hunt is widely available in libraries across Dublin, or you can download it here:
Download the Hidden Histories Hunt in colour
Download the Hidden Histories Hunt in printer-friendly grayscale
If you know any budding young historians or would simply like to know more about experimenting, learning and sharing through history with the Historian-in-Residence for Children, you can get in touch with Dervilia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the list of upcoming events at Richmond Barracks and sign up to the newsletter to stay up to date.
Dervilia Roche has worked in heritage and public history for over fourteen years. After obtaining a BA in History of Art and Architecture and Music from Trinity College Dublin, she then received an MSc in Tourism Management from Dublin Institute of Technology, during which she undertook, and later published, research on how children engage with heritage sites.
She has worked at Dublin Castle, the National Museum of Ireland, and the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, in various visitor engagement roles, including tour guiding and developing education programmes. She is particularly focused on creating tours, workshops and resources for children. She has also worked on the creation of educational content for history and geography classroom resources, and in various heritage services in the UK.
She is passionate about the history and heritage of Dublin, and an avid believer that local history should be accessible and engaging to all ages. She is particularly interested in place-based learning: using buildings and landscapes to tell the stories of the past.
Creative Residencies is a Dublin City Council Culture Company programme which creates partnerships to try out ideas, test new approaches and add to the city’s cultural vibrancy. We encourage creative and cultural experts in partnership with organisations, to think bigger and expand horizons, informed by the city’s people and places.
The inaugural Creative Residency in partnership with The Honorable Society of King’s Inns commenced on 1 September 2019 with visual artist Jesse Jones supported to develop work exploring the theme of art and law, and the creation of a new artwork for King’s Inns.