Please click on the image and explore the exhibition.

Biological agents are among the most feared weapons on Earth. In 1920, British authorities claimed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was planning to attack British barracks in Dublin with typhoid bacteria. Explore our seven scenes to lift the lid on the historical circumstances surrounding the so-called 'typhoid plot'. Discover how the very technologies underpinning the bacteriological revolution triggered major anxieties about invisible violence and find out how weaponising microbes became an international taboo.

Exhibition written and curated by Claas Kirchhelle
Curatorial and producation assistance from Carly Collier
Artwork by Madeleine Hadd
Design and digital exhibition development by Ben Leighton and Chris Hodgson

Contours of a Taboo is one of a suite of exhibitions launched as part of the project 'Typhoid, Cockles & Terrorism'. 


UCD Archives' core function is the curatorship of the archives of the university and the significant institutions which predated its foundation; and of those outstanding collections of private papers and institutional archives acquired and preserved to help document the foundation and development of modern Ireland.

The mission of UCD Archives is to achieve the highest standards in the performance of its core functions:

To identify and preserve collections of archives, papers and manuscripts of national significance, safeguarding the interests of depositors and supporting the teaching and research needs of the university and the wider community.

To identify and preserve those records of the university which are evidence of university functions and which have enduring significance, to support administration and research.

Our reading room has moved to Level 2 in the James Joyce Library. It will remain there until the opening of the new Cultural Heritage Centre. For information on our new location, registering as a researcher, making an appointment and requesting documents, please visit our Planning Your Visit page.

Document of the Month
Death of St. Colmcille, 9 June AD592

Columba, Colm Cille or Colmcille (7 December 521 – 9 June 597 AD) was an Irish abbot and missionary  ... Read more

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Please visit our Planning Your Visit page for updates.

Contact UCD Archives:

UCD Archives, University College Dublin
James Joyce Library, Belfield, Dublin 4

+353-1-716 7555 |

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