Personal narratives of Irish and Scottish migration, 1921–65

McCarthy, Angela
Date published: 
December 2012

Between 1921 and 1965, Irish and Scottish migrants continued to seek new homes abroad. Using the personal accounts of these migrants from letters, interviews, questionnaires and shipboard journals, together with more traditional documentary sources such as immigration files and maritime records, this book examines the experience of migration and settlement in North America and Australasia. Through a close reading of personal testimonies the author highlights the assorted similarities and differences between the Irish and Scots. Subtle differences rather than yawning cultural gaps are apparent; similarities in attitude and expectation are more common than divergent or unique experiences. Tackling issues of why and how versions of the past are represented and what they mean, this fascinating study considers individual and collective memory and the use of personal testimonies as historical evidence.