New Archive Collection in Cork Will Honor Richard Harris
It’s been 20 years since Richard Harris passed away, but time has certainly not diminished his legacy. The late actor, who played Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, will be remembered in a new archive collection opening at the University College Cork (UCC). Donated by Harris’s estate, the items featured in the exhibit will include selections from over 50 years’ worth of memorabilia.
Richard Harris’s son, actor Jared Harris, described the donation as “a great relief,” explaining that the archive had been sitting in storage almost since his father’s passing. The family had worried that the items would be damaged by time and damp conditions, and they subsequently searched for an option that would help preserve Harris’s legacy. Jared Harris expressed approval of the collection finding a home at UCC, saying that the curriculum there would have had his father’s approval:
They have a school of film, theatre, drama, they do fantastic literature programmes and it seemed as though this dovetailed with what his passions were.
Today marks 20 years since the passing of the iconic actor Richard Harris.
— UCC Ireland (@UCC) October 25, 2022
The late actor, whose extraordinary life is detailed in the new documentary The Ghost of Richard Harris, seems to have accumulated a vast treasury of mementos, both professional and personal. Among the items are the crown he wore as King Arthur in Camelot, two Golden Globes, and a letter from Daniel Radcliffe wishing Harris a good recovery while he was in the hospital. The exhibit will also feature his works of poetry, which his son hopes will be published in the future.
A notable part of the collection will be a testament to his love for his birth city of Limerick. Items will include plaques from Young Munster, the local rugby union club, as well as other memorabilia honoring the history of the area itself. “Limerick was very important to my father,” said Jared Harris, which is why the exhibit will first be displayed at the Hunt Museum in Limerick before being moved to Cork. “Richard Harris was one of Limerick’s favourite sons. He was always deeply proud of where he came from, and we want this exhibit to appeal to everyone,” commented the Hunt Museum’s director, Jill Cousins. The museum aims to open the exhibit sometime in 2024 since the sizeable collection will take some time to organize.
UCC anticipates receiving the archive thereafter and hopes to add it to the proposed new Treasures Gallery in the library. Dr. Barry Monahan, a lecturer in UCC’s School of Film, Music and Theater, is enthusiastic about the new addition, stating that the collection “bridges important moments in the biography of the world-celebrated Irish actor, offering fascinating insights to aspects of his career and personality that might have been lost in the gap between his public and private stories.”