The Shirley Lewis Scrapbook 1917

The Shirley Lewis Scrapbook was brought to our attention by the National Library of Ireland, and subsequently donated to the Museum of Childhood Ireland Collection by Brenda Alexander. The scrapbook offers a child’s perspective on Irish history. Shirley, born in 1908 was a young Dublin boy aged 9 years old, when he was gifted on March 24th, 1917, a blank book to use as a scrapbook by his father. In it he records what was of importance to him.

The Shirley Lewis Scrapbook 

“This is the only photo I have of Dad as a young man. He is standing on the right with the dark suit and tie.

He was the Second of the five children and I guess he is about 16 in this photo. He was born in 1908 died 2003. The family grew up in Dartmouth Square Dublin.

He always had an artistic eye which comes across in the scrapbook which also includes some paintings. He created many paintings and from there to photography. He worked very hard for the Photographic Society of Ireland and became President in the 1970s.

As children they would have had to entertain themselves hence the scrapbook and stamp collecting. They would have had many outings to Bray/Greystones and walks in the country, cycling, learning piano and helping his father in the garden and enjoying/entertaining his younger brothers.

The family were members of Merrion Hall, Brethern Community. (Merrion Hall is now the Davonport Hotel). Sunday’s would have very much been a day of rest.

He often mentioned that he went to a hedge school but I’m not too sure about that!

He developed a huge number of interests but that is his adult story!”

Brenda Alexander February 2019