City archive opens exhibit telling story of the Irish experience in Boston history

A City of Boston Archives exhibit on Irish Immigration that was unveiled Sunday at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast will soon be on display and open to the public at City Hall.
“The Irish and Boston: An Immigrant Saga” is a 14-panel display featuring a collection of historical photographs, documents, and statistics pertaining to the Irish presence in Boston from the initial waves of immigration to the time of the Great Hunger to the Irish rise to power in the political arenas of the city.
While the breakfast is typically characterized by levity, the exhibit, curated by City Archivist John McColgan and his team at the Boston City Archives, lent a measure of solemn historical perspective to the event. Although it focuses on migration from Ireland, it also recognizes the parallels between all immigrants who have come to Boston over the generations as well as the ways that all immigrant groups have contributed “significantly to Boston’s business growth, employment, and tax revenue, as well as its cultural diversity.”
State Sen. Nick Collins of South Boston, the host of the breakfast, hailed the timeliness of the exhibit: “I was blown away at the scope and presentation of the exhibit curated by John and his team,” said Collins. “It helped set the stage for the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, but it also highlighted that immigrants are not our enemies, they are our neighbors, our friends, they are us.
“I can’t thank the Archives enough for this impactful collection, and I hope everyone in the city has an opportunity to see it.”