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Website maintenance - 26/04/2017

A technical fault on the IMC website has now been resolved and the book-buying function is working again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


Launch of 18th century manuscript of poems - 05/04/2017
The launch of Professor Andrew Carpenter's edition of the poems of Olivia Elder took place last night in the Royal Irish Academy on Dawson Street. Professor Sarah Prescott, Principal of UCD College of Arts and Humanities, launched the edition to an appreciative audience. Having worked on the manuscript for her paper on women poets writing in eighteenth-century Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Professor Prescott was uniquely placed to comment on the value of this manuscript. Quoting from the poems, Professor Prescott illustrated glimpses of the author's lonely, satirical and slightly grumpy personality, but also the constant balance between Olivia Elder's wish to write poems and her domestic duties. She outlined the various contexts in which the poems could be read: as a record of Ulster Presbyterian life, of life in a rural setting and as the work of a woman poet. Concluding her remarks Professor Prescott observed how very little writing by Ulster women had survived and she thanked Professor Carpenter for transcribing the manuscript and the Irish Manuscripts Commission for publishing it.

Professor Carpenter thanked Professor Prescott warmly and observed that Olivia Elder might be astonished to see her poems in print. He added that what had survived was by chance and the collection of poems was neither edited nor censored. As such it was a valuable record which was to be celebrated. He commended the edition to the audience saying it was not just a source for social history but also cultural history and an occasion to celebrate that in such a remote part of Ireland poetry and culture had been so important to people. He thanked James McGuire and Cathy Hayes for the great care taken with publishing the edition.

Dr Linde Lunney, a native of the area where Olivia Elder had lived near Coleraine, then read three poems from the book and brought the language and rhymes alive to the delight of the gathering.

This book costs 25 and is available to order through any good book shop or to buy from our website here.


Postal rates to increase on 13 April 2017 - 03/04/2017
Please note that from Thursday 13 April 2017 postal rates will increase. This will have an effect on the cost of posting IMC books. You can read more about the rate increases here.


Manuscript of 18th century poems published - 28/03/2017
The Commission is delighted to announce the publication of NLI, MS 23,254, The Poems of Olivia Elder, edited by Professor Andrew Carpenter. This previously unpublished manuscript in the collection of the National Library of Ireland is the work of Olivia Elder, the daughter of a prominent New Light Presbyterian minister who ministered at Aghadowey near Coleraine. The family income was supplemented through farming. Details of everyday life on a farm and explorations of the implications of Presbyterian theology both appear in her verse. Covering a wide range of subjects in a variety of poetic styles, the poems compare favourably with the work of other female poets writing in England and America at the time. You can read more about the edition here.


Launch of New Series CSPI calendars - 23/03/2017
Tonight saw the formal launch of the latest two volumes in the New Series Calendar of State Papers Ireland for the Tudor period. Though available since 2015, Professor Colm Lennon's calendar of state papers for the reign of Edward VI was launched alongside the latest calendar to be published, that for Henry VIII edited by Professor Steven Ellis and Dr James Murray.

Launching the two volumes, the General Editor of the series, Professor Nicholas Canny commented how both calendars repaid careful reading and he commended the editors for their pain-staking work in producing them.

All of the editors spoke of their delight at completing their work and bringing the series ever closer to completion.

Pictured right are (top) Professor Nicholas Canny, General Editor, (middle) Professor Colm Lennon and (bottom) Professor Steven Ellis and Dr James Murray.


Just published New Series CSPI 1509-1547 - 20/03/2017
The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce the publication of the latest addition to the New Series of State Papers Ireland calendars for the Tudor period. Covering the reign of Henry VIII from 1509 to 1547, the latest calendar - edited by by Professor Steven Ellis and Dr James Murray - reveals much about the key historical events of the period, including the fall of the house of Kildare, the early Reformation in Ireland, and the attempts of successive English viceroys to incorporate the Gaelic chieftans and their lordships into the English polity in Ireland. This book retails at 65 euro and the ISBN is 978-1-906865-70-2 if you would like to order it through your local bookshop or buy it online here.

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