Great Famine Voices Roadshow – online archive

Close up of an archive document, held at Strokestown Park.
Great Famine Voices Roadshow - online archive

Liverpool’s inaugural Great Famine Voices Roadshow goes digital. Join online presentations and a live Q&A focused on Ireland’s Great Famine.

Below are the details of the Great Famine Voices Roadshow run in May 2020, but we also think you may be interested in a related film that the Festival commissioned in Oct 2020, premiered at that year’s Festival, which you can see here:

Now, back to The Roadshow…

Before the break out of Coronavirus/Covid-19, the Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and the Irish Heritage Trust planned to bring The Great Famine Voices Roadshow to Liverpool. It would have been a UK exclusive. However, moving with the times, we are now bringing together Irish migrants, their descendants and multi-generational Irish communities virtually. The event has been adapted to a curated online presentation series and discussion concerning Ireland’s Great Famine and the migration it created. This will be open to the public via social media.

How do I engage?

Access to each presentation is given below. They are also being issued as part of alive feed on the Institute of Irish StudiesTwitter account. They are completely free to access. The presentations will run in the following order (please note that all timings are approximate):

The full run down of the day is presented here.

What is the Great Famine Voices Roadshow?

Ordinarily, The Great Famine Voices Roadshow brings together Irish migrants, their descendants and multi-generational Irish communities. It asks visitors to share family memories and the stories of migration that the Great Hunger caused. It also welcomes stories arising from the struggles and opportunities that followed. The Roadshow archive strengthens a sense of ancestry and provides access to historic and current Irish connections. Stories will be recorded, stored and displayed on The Great Famine Voices online archive at

We are now working collectively on how we can move this physical event to a digital one and ensure we can collect as many of yor stories as possible.

Online or in person, who is The Roadshow for?
The Roadshow is for

  • anyone with family memories or stories of migration from Ireland to share
  • Irish migrants and multi-generational Irish people living in Liverpool
  • Irish dual-heritage individuals living in the city (particularly those from the African, Asian, Arab, European, Irish Traveller, Roma, Sinti and other diverse communities). Please help us share this invite with these communities
  • those aiming to learn more about migration from Ireland to Liverpool.

Share the event

Our custom URL for this event is: Please share this in your networks. If tweeting or chatting about the event on social media, include us by using this hashtag: #GFVRLiverpool

Over to you. Send us your story
Please send a video clip of yourself sharing your family memories and stories about your ancestors or your own experiences of migrating from Ireland to Liverpool and other destinations in England. Your video should be no longer than fifteen minutes. Please send it by 1 May 2020 to [email protected]. There are a couple of key tips for doing this:

  • First and foremost, think of the migration story you want to tell
  • Run a quick test to make sure your speech can be heard
  • Film in landscape and at the highest resolution your equipment allows
  • Start by addressing the camera with your full name and current location
  • Focus on telling the Famine or migration story in full, lasting no longer than 15 minutes
  • Once recorded, please send* your MP4 film to [email protected]. We recommend using WeTransfer where possible, as it allows you to send large files for free.

Please note: Assuming your film fulfils our criteria and honours all common sense decency screening, sending your film to us will serve as consent for it to be used by the project partners for the Great Famine Voices Roadshow. It will be used on the associated website and may be referenced by the partners in future presentations and work. We will not share any email data with third parties, but film may be used on multiple platforms.

Who is running the Roadshow? The Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and Irish Heritage Trust are delivering The Great Famine Voices Roadshow in partnership with the Institute of Irish Studies at University of Liverpool, Liverpool Irish Festival and the Liverpool Great Hunger Commemoration Committee. The Roadshow is funded by the Government of Ireland’s Emigrant Support Programme.

University of Liverpool logo

The Institue of Irish Studies logo

Please note, event is limited to
2 May
2020 only, not 1-2 May as in early listings.

Click for the Great Famine Voices website.



Objectives of the Great Famine Voices Roadshow in Liverpool

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow will collect accounts from families and individuals whose ancestors have experienced migration from Ireland, with particular reference to the period of the Irish Famine/Great Hunger. This evidence gathering process is of value because

  • it adds valuable material to the existing record of the experiences of people directly impacted by the Famine. This is all the more important because the voice of this group remains under-represented in the record
  • it gives people the opportunity to express and recount the details of their ancestor’s migration experience. In many families, the migration from Ireland is the single most significant episode in their family history. Participation in The Great Famine Voices Roadshow acknowledges and validates this experience and its associated challenges
  • by entering additional material in the record, The Great Famine Voices Roadshow may well turn up fresh information and perspectives related to our understanding of the Famine migration experience, including the factors behind migration, and the challenges of integration in host communities. This evidence might also invite comparisons between the integration process in different communities
  • it serves as a commemoration of events and acknowledges their significance
  • the perspectives of migrants and migrant communities are essential to reaching a deeper understanding of communities and societies as we find them today, casting fresh light on the history, distinct characteristics and culture of present-day communities
  • it provides an accessible and valuable educational tool for those examining their own community and its history, and for young people in particular
  • it allows the collaborating partners to build their relationship by developing a meaningful event with a long lasting legacy.

Featured image: Close up of an archive document, held at Strokestown Park.

Original event: 2 May 2020.

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8 November 2023-31 May 2035