American Parcels Project - Invitation to Participate

Dr. Eleanor O’Leary will be at the Irish American Museum in June with a project on the parcels sent from America to Ireland in the 20th century. Little has been written on the widespread practice of sending home parcels to family in Ireland and Dr. O’Leary is looking to interview people about this phenomenon. Group and individual interviews can be facilitated between 30 May and 3 June 2022 at the Museum.

Far more parcels were received in Ireland (an average of 170,000) than sent to the States (16,000) annually and the "American parcel" was highly anticipated, as it contained both food and goods from family members. The Connacht Sentinel noted that 981 bags of mail were landed in Galway port from New York for Christmas in 1931. The Irish Independent, commented that "the depression in the Great Republic of the West does not extend to that proportion of its citizens having Irish affiliations" as it observed that 1,200 bags of "parcel mails" arrived in Cobh in 1931.

Dr. O’Leary is interested in stories about how Irish American migrants selected items to send home, the costs involved and the family members they sent items to and why. If you are interested participating please contact or