Troubled Images North American tour: Hoover Institution launch (Linen Hall Library)

Troubled Images North American tour: Hoover Institution launch
Linen Hall Library Newsletter
May 2004

Troubled Images North American Tour
Hoover Institution Launch

The 2004 leg of the Troubled Images North American tour opened at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University, California on 18th March. Of all the tour venues, this was the one I was looking forward to most.

In 1993, I was a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution. One afternoon I was shown their world famous collection of posters on 20th century conflict, all beautifully conserved. Asked what we did with our posters in the Linen Hall Library, I was embarrassed to admit that we simply stuffed them into drawers. Realising that we probably held the only significant collection of Irish political posters, archivists there urged me to put them on slides or maybe even create a CD-ROM. The same evening, in the shadow of the Hoover tower, I jotted down the template for what became the Troubled Images project. The U.S. government paid for me to visit Hoover again in 1997 and 2002, and staff there provided guidance throughout the development of the project.

The programme opened with a seminar presentation by Byron Bland, Associate Director of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation. The British Consul, Martin Uden and the Irish Vice-Consul, Sylvia McLoughlin, took part in the opening reception, while Bill Montgomery and I were the Library representatives. John Raisian, Director of the Hoover Institution, paid tribute to Hoover’s role in the genesis of the Troubled Images project:

“We are proud that there is a personal Hoover connection with this exhibit in addition to shared interest in the politics of reconciliation. In 1993, a young curator at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast named Yvonne Murphy asked Hoover’s Agnes Peterson if she could visit the Hoover library and archives on a study visit. Mrs Peterson, always looking for ways to foster young talent, encouraged her to visit and learn how the Hoover collection is organised … Ten years after visiting the Hoover Institution for the first time, Yvonne Murphy and her colleagues have brought us the fruit of their work on political poster art. We are honoured to share this with you.”

I was delighted that the Hoover Institution wanted the Troubled Images exhibition and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to thank Agnes Peterson, Elena Danielson, Cissie Hill, Linda Bernard and Helen Solanum publicly for all their inspiration, professionalism and friendship.

Yvonne Murphy
Troubled Images Tour Director