Eoghan Harris: Archives hold both happy memories and hard truths
Last week, the Irish Daily Mail reported that RTE had 41 staff working on its archives. Normally I would have reacted with rage. But my first thought was to wonder if they had sufficient staff.
Archives are the nuts and bolts of national memory. What a family album is to a family. Without an album we can still remember, but we lack the proof of a photograph.
But opening a national archive can be as fraught as opening a family album. Even after many years we can be surprised at the emotions they arouse. As the American novelist Ethan Cannin says: "Time is the thinnest bandage for our wounds."