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Launch of 'Papers of the Dublin Philosophical Society' - 12/12/2008
Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of those who gathered in the meeting rooms of the Royal Irish Academy to celebrate the publication of Theo Hoppen's new edition of the collected minutes, papers and letters of one of the earliest scientific societies in Ireland. Prof. Denis Wearie, FRS, himself an internationally renowned scientist, launched the book in front of an appreciative audience that included Prof. Hoppen's wife, Anne Drakeford, and members of the Royal Irish Academy - one of the successors of the Dublin Philosophical Society. Prof. Hoppen acknowledged the elapsed time since the first edition published by IMC on microfiche, but expressed his great joy that the delay in some ways may have facilitated the production of this new and beautifully finished edition. He thanked the Irish Manuscripts Commission and in particular the Chairman, Mr James McGuire, for this.

 
 

Publication of new edition of Hoppen work - 04/12/2008
It is with great pleasure that the Irish Manuscripts Commission announces the publication of K. Theodore Hoppen's new edition of 'The papers of the Dublin Philosophical Society, 1683-1709'. First published on microfilm in the late 1970s, this printed edition has been revised and updated and contains 49 illustrations from manuscripts and journals. Beautifully produced in two volumes, this is a must-have for the student of early science in Ireland and it is available now in all good book shops or through the IMC website.

 
 

Launch of Council Book at City Hall, Cork - 27/11/2008
Margaret Curtis Clayton's edition of Harleian MS 697 was launched in style in the magnificent chambers of City Hall in Cork on 27 November. Dr David Edwards commended the work to the gathering in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Brian Bermingham. The hospitality of the city was extended to the guests of teh Commission and was gratefully acknowledged by the IMC chairman, James McGuire. David Edwards congratulated Dr Curtis Clayton on bringing this source into print and enabling the reconstruction of everyday life in plantation-era Munster, from the very highest (the lord president and the local nobility) to some of the very lowest, and putting in print a huge amount of valuable information about the province during a period of enormous change and transformation.

 
 

Council Book of Munster published - 20/11/2008
The Commission is delighted to announce the publication earlier this week of Margaret Curtis Clayton's edition of 'The Council Book for the Province of Munster, c.1599-1649'. Preserved in the British Library, MS Harleian 697 provides a rare insight into the workings of English provincial government in early seventeenth-century Ireland. Scattered within its pages is previously overlooked information on the government’s preparations for the forthcoming Battle of Kinsale (1601), and—equally significant—a wealth of detail illuminating the lives of the local Irish population in the aftermath of the English victory. Here also are a wide variety of administrative records, the likes of which have rarely survived from other regions, such as presidential court cases, county assizes and gaol deliveries, appointments of local officials, protections, concordata, and proclamations, as well as correspondence with Dublin and with the privy council in London. The documents are mainly in English with a few in Latin. This edition includes extensive indices of persons, places and subjects. It will be welcomed by historians generally as its pages contain legal, administrative, religious, genealogical and social information about a hitherto vague and dark period of Irish provincial history. It is available for purchase through the Publications section of the IMC website.

 
 

Launch of James Kelly's 'House of Lords' - 05/11/2008
The beautiful surroundings of the former chamber for the Irish House of Lords at Bank of Ireland, College Green was the scene for the formal launch of James Kelly's 3-volume edition detailing the proceedings of that body during the years 1771–1800. The Commission was honoured that Martin Cullen, T.D., Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism launched the book and drew attention not only to the significant contributions of Dr Kelly to Irish history, but also to the importance of recording Ireland's past in the wider context of European culture. James Kelly's speech drew laughter when he described some of the more unusual procedures of the House of Lords such as official note-takers withdrawing from the House when significant disagreements occurred, lest the rancorous exchanges of the Lords be recorded. In conclusion the Chairman, James McGuire, thanked the Minister for performing the launch and the assembled guests for their attendance.

 
 

Launch of the Rosse Calendar - 20/10/2008
Anthony Malcomson's calendar of the papers in the private archive of the Earl and Countess of Rosse was launched at the weekend by an Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, T.D. At a reception in the beautiful and imposing dining room of Birr Castle, the assembled dignitaries were first welcomed by Lord Rosse. IMC chairman James McGuire thanked the Rosses for hosting the launch and he paid tribute to the work done by Dr Malcomson in producing this detailed calendar. The Taoiseach spoke warmly of Anthony Malcomson's own work and the contribution of his family, who played a key role in the economic life and development of Portlaw, Co. Waterford. He also paid tribute to the Irish Manuscripts Commission’s many and varied contributions to the documentation of Irish history, which he assured those present was fully appreciated by the State. It came to the editor himself to speak and Anthony Malcomson treated the crowd to an unscripted and humorous speech that traced his gratitude to the Rosses for the 28 year journey to bring this calendar into being, to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland for supporting the work, to the Irish Manuscripts Commission for publishing the work, especially the project's mentor, Dr James Kelly, and to the Taoiseach for doing him the honour of launching the book.

 
 

Newstalk feature on IMC - 13/10/2008
On 12 October last, Irish Manuscripts Commission Chairman James McGuire together with Michael Kennedy—who heads up IMC's 80th anniversary celebrations committee—were interviewed on Newstalk radio's popular Talking History show with Patrick Geoghegan & Lindsey Earner-Byrne. The history of the Commission was discussed as was its contribution to the publication and preservation of primary sources since its foundation in 1928. Some of the anniversary celebrations for IMC were listed together with the significant publications published by the Commission in 2008. Some of the publications in preparation for 2009 were highlighted including the much anticipated catalogue of Plantation maps being prepared by Dr Annaleigh Margey of Trinity College Dublin. Listen to the audio file here

 
 

Culture Night - 22/09/2008
IMC participated in the third Culture Night event on 19 September last. All involved agreed that the event was a resounding success and the interest in the work of the Commission - past, present and future - was inspiring. About 150 people came to see the display and interpretation of IMC publications as well as banners outlining the 80-year history of the Commission. Dr Michael Kennedy presented a talk on the history and work of the Commission which touched on some of its contributions to the preservation of cultural heritage over the years, from the introduction of new printing techniques to Ireland in the 1930s to the business records campaign of the 1950s and 60s. There was a lively interaction with the audience who were genuinely engaged by the role of IMC in the wider cultural heritage community. IMC looks forward to participation in this important and fun event in the cultural heritage calendar next year.

 
 

'Proceedings of the Irish House of Lords' published - 19/09/2008
The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce the publication of Dr James Kelly's edition of 'Proceedings of the Irish House of Lords, 1771-1800'. This ground breaking, three-volume set reconstructs for the first time the proceedings of the Irish House of Lords during the busy years of the late eighteenth century. Based in the first instance on press reports, this edition also brings together reports of individual debates and high-profile speeches to provide a unique vista on the personalities, policies and politics of the parliament over three decades. Presented with an extensive introduction, this work is a landmark in the historiography of eighteenth-century Ireland and in the history of the pre-Union Irish parliament. This edition is available for sale through the 'Publications' section of our website.

 
 

Strategic Development Plan - 01/08/2008
Following on from the work of an IMC subcommittee in 2007 to review strategic development for the period 2008 - 2011, the Commission is delighted to publish online its Strategic Development Plan. This document lays out the strategic objectives for the Commission in terms of its publishing activity, but also in relation to its advisory role and its participation in the wider cultural heritage and humanities communities. You can download the PDF of this document through the "Strategic Plan" section of our website.

 
 

Calendar of Rosse Papers - 29/07/2008
The Commission is delighted to announce the publication of APW Malcomson's edition of 'Calendar of the Rosse papers' - one of the most important collections of manuscripts in private ownership in Ireland. The papers listed in Anthony Malcomson’s detailed calendar are particularly rich on seventeenth century material; beginning with the introduction of English settlement into the midlands in the opening decades of the century, records continue through the difficult years of the 1640s and the drama of the Williamite Wars of the late 1680s and early 1690s, on which the collection is particularly insightful. This calendar is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of: seventeenth and eighteenth-century Ireland; science in the nineteenth century; the British navy in the eighteenth century; the evolving story of the surviving families of the Irish landed elite in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and in the influence of a particular family that contrived over a number of centuries not only to transform Birr into one of the country’s most elegant small towns, but also to construct and sustain one of the finest country houses and its gardens.

 
 

Culture Night 2008 - 01/05/2008
We are delighted to announce our participation in Dublin Culture Night, an exciting event that will see over 100 arts and cultural organizations open their doors to the public and offer a range of free events, tours, talks and performances. On the night, members of the Irish Manuscripts Commission will illustrate the importance of preserving primary manuscript sources in print editions, using several of the Commission's most significant publications since its foundation in 1928.

 
 

Death of Mairead Dunlevy - 19/03/2008
It is with great sadness that the Chairman and members of IMC record the death of their colleague Mairead Dunlevy on 18 March 2008. Mairead was appointed to the Commission in April 2006 and had been an active member until illness prevented her from attending meetings. Mairead was the former keeper of the art and industrial division of the National Museum of Ireland until her retirement in 2002.

 
 

Waterford Launch - 12/03/2008
On 28 February last Niall Byrne's edition of 'The Great Parchment Book of Waterford' was launched in the beautiful surroundings of the Waterford Museum of Treasures in the city whose municipal government is the subject of Dr Byrne's work. The Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Mary O'Halloran, welcomed IMC to Waterford and Máire Mac Conghail thanked her on behalf of the Commission. Dr David Edwards, UCC launched the book and also paid tribute to Niall Byrne's passion and interest in bringing primary sources for the history of Waterford to the attention of historians throughout Ireland. To the delight of all present, the editor responded with a list of more manuscripts that he hopes to bring into print in the near future. This edition has proved enormously popular and guests at the launch were treated to a viewing of one of the most interesting and detailed folios of the manuscript, folio 91. This folio records the mayoralty of Peter Aylward in 1566 and is densely illustrated with a map of Waterford city as well as images of the last judgement, Elizabeth I and a unique image of a nursing Madonna.

 
 

Dr Gerry Slater retires - 02/01/2008
Dr Gerry Slater has announced his retirement as Director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland with effect from today. As an ex-officio member of IMC this means that he will also stand down as a member of the Commission. Since his appointment by John O'Donoghue in April 2006 Dr Slater has been a great friend to the Commission and he was an active participant, most recently as a member of the Strategic Review Committee and the Digitisation Task Force. The Chairman and members of IMC would like to wish him well in his retirement.

 
 
 
 
 
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