The Little Museum is proud to present a potted history of The Irish Times.

 
 

The Editor’s Room is a re-creation of the paper at the time when it was run by Robert “Bertie” Smyllie, one of its most legendary and successful editors.

Smyllie was editor of The Irish Times from 1934 to 1954. The exhibition includes his old typewriter, which was given to The Irish Times by Maeve Binchy, and the front page of the paper marking VE Day on May 8th, 1945.

In order to get past the censors, who frowned on partisanship in the war, Smyllie ensured the photographs on that front page were marked out in a V shape, a subliminal sign denoting support for the British war effort.

  Bertie Smyllie's desk and typewriter

  Bertie Smyllie's desk and typewriter

Smyllie’s old desk is also there, as is his desk lamp. The first front page of the paper from the first edition published on March 29th, 1859, is also on display.

The exhibition was curated by Irish Times journalist Peter Murtagh, who described the newspaper during Smyllie’s time as an “extraordinary place”.

It was The Irish Times of Patrick Campbell, Patrick Kavanagh, Flann O’Brien and others of the Palace Bar set. It was during this period that The Irish Times moved from being the traditional newspaper of Southern unionists to the mainstream newspaper it is today.

The Editor’s Room is decorated in the same playful style as the rest of the museum. There are cabinets of discovery, boxes to open; surprises and shocks, physical challenges, with history revealed in pithy revelations and delicious trivia.

You can watch a short video on the exhibition, presented by Peter Murtagh, here.