The Military Archives in Dublin continues to yield historical treasures but its latest collection from a vast archive is remarkable.
The archive - assembled over many years by a Cork-born Christian Brother, William Allen - comprises around 13,000 items from early Irish history right through to the revolutionary period and beyond.
The selection at the archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin includes the last letter from Pádraig Pearse to his mother before his execution; a cigarette removed from the uniform of his brother, Willie Pearse, after his execution and Daniel O'Connell's prayer book.
It also includes a ticket for the match at Croke Park on 'Bloody Sunday' in 1920, a cymbal left behind at Croke Park by a band member, ration cards issued during the Famine in 1847 and a pair of infant shoes made by Kathleen Clarke, widow of Tom Clarke, while she was at Holloway Prison in London in 1918.
Archivists say they are happy with the provenance of the items as many have letters showing exactly where they came from.
The vast collection also includes an early stone axe head and a metronome, owned by tenor Enrico Caruso.
It appears that Brother Allen became a "go to" man for those who had all sorts of items they thought worthy of preservation.
He had an eye for preserving objects that would later become of great value and his appetite for collecting was seemingly insatiable.
After his death, the collection was curated by the Irish Christian Brothers and later passed to the State.
The current exhibition will be open in the New Year for researchers.
Anyone interested in viewing the collection can apply to do so by contacting www.militaryarchives.ie.