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'Reform' Treatises published - 08/12/2016

David Heffernan's edition 'Reform' treatises on Tudor Ireland 1537 - 1599 has just been published and is now available to buy here.

During the sixteenth century hundreds of treatises were written on the ‘reform’ of Ireland by officials and interested parties active in the country. These documents were central in shaping how senior ministers in England viewed Ireland and consequently how they formulated policy for the second Tudor dominion. This book gathers together 70 of these treatises. In them are to be found proposals for the primary policy initiatives used to bring Ireland more firmly under crown control in the sixteenth century, from the establishment of provincial councils and the settlement of English colonies, to more assimilative schemes such as that to endow an Irish university and protestantise the country. In addition to articulating policy ideas these papers provide one of the clearest insights into how Tudor Englishmen perceived Ireland and how they believed it should ultimately be reshaped. The appearance of these hitherto unpublished treatises will contribute significantly to the debate on government policy in sixteenth-century Ireland.


Launch of commemorative editions - 13/10/2016
Last night saw the launch by Senator Michael McDowell of two IMC publications to mark the decade of centenaries: Eoin MacNeill: memoir of a revolutionary scholar edited by Dr Brian Hughes and Analecta Hibernica No. 47 edited by Professor James Kelly.

Launching the MacNeill memoir Senator McDowell, who is MacNeill’s grandson, commended Dr Hughes on the first ever publication of the memoir and congratulated him on the scholarly care he had taken in editing it. Eoin MacNeill had composed the memoir in stages in the early 1930s having been encouraged by his family to put on record an account of his life and in particular those public events in which he had taken part. He noted the interesting details which repaid carefully reading.

Dr Hughes in his speech thanked his IMC mentor Dr Deirdre McMahon and noted that the edition had been faithful to the memoir as written — an unrevised text as it was dictated from memory, without recourse to notes or papers.

Senator McDowell also launched a special issue of the Irish Manuscripts Commission’s journal Analecta Hibernica, edited by Professor James Kelly. This issue is devoted entirely to shorter documents relating to the 1916 Rising and its aftermath as witnessed by people living in Dublin who were either involved peripherally in the events or were interested observers.

In his concluding remarks James McGuire, Chair of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, recalled that Eoin MacNeill had once declared that the proper function of the state was to serve and defend the civilization of the people. In establishing the Irish Manuscripts Commission and appointing MacNeill as its first Chairman, the state had committed to do just that. Over almost 90 years since its foundation the Irish Manuscripts Commission has striven to uphold MacNeill’s vision.

Pictured right are: (TOP) Professor Kelly with Senator McDowell and Dr Hughes; (MIDDLE) Analecta editor Professor James Kelly with contributors Professor John McCafferty, Dr A. J. Mc Cormack and James McGuire; (BOTTOM) IMC Chairman James McGuire in his closing remarks. You can buy the MacNeill memoir here and Analecta Hibernica No. 47 here.


MacNeill memoir published - 21/09/2016
Brian Hughes's edition of the memoir prepared by Eoin MacNeill in the 1930s was published last week and was on display during Culture Night last Friday. This memoir has never been published before and is made available for the first time in this beautifully presented edition. The memoir covers MacNeill's early childhood in Co. Antrim as well as his education in Dublin and his subsequent involvement in the language revival and nationalist politics after 1916. It ends shortly after 1925 with his return to scholarship. The publication of this memoir is a timely tribute to MacNeill, appointed IMC's first Chairman in 1928. You can buy the edition here or order it through any good bookshop.


Culture Night 2016 - 31/08/2016
Culture Night takes place on Friday 16th September this year - don't forget to include a visit to IMC's Culture Night display and presentations in your South Georgian Quarter plans. Members of the Commission will be available to discuss the importance of preserving primary sources for history and records of all kinds. A presentation of the Commission’s most significant publications since its foundation in 1928 will be on display, including a facsimile of The Book of Armagh containing the opening passage of Patrick’s ‘Confessio’. We’re open from 5pm – 11pm.


Commemorative edition at the press - 11/08/2016
In the 1930s Eoin Mac Neill - founder of the Irish Volunteers and first Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission - dictated his memoirs. They covered his youth in Antrim, the revolutionary period of 1916 and his involvement in the government of the nascent Irish state. As part of IMC's commemorative editions programme to mark the decade of centenaries, Brian Hughes has edited the Mac Neill memoir which will be published shortly for the first time. This edition is currently at the printers and will be available to purchase from the IMC website and all good bookshops in September. You can read more about the book here and keep up with the latest news about IMC publications through social media.


Roger Casement's humanitarian work - 04/08/2016
On the 100th anniversary of the execution of Sir Roger Casement, it is timely to remind those interested in his humanitarian work of the IMC edition prepared by Angus Mitchell in 2003 entitled Sir Roger Casement's 'Heart of Darkness': the 1911 documents. This edition gathers documents about the Putumayo attrocities in South America from the Casement Papers held at the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives at Kew, London as well as material from the Bodleian, the British Library of Political and Economic Science and the New York Public Library. The primary sources gathered in this edition provide a valuable research tool for the study of not only human rights abuses, but also ecumenism, post-colonial and Irish studies, Anglo-American diplomacy and socio-economic history of South America.


Special issue of Analecta Hibernica published - 22/07/2016
The Commission is delighted to announce the publication of Analecta Hibernica No. 47. This is a special issue of the Commission's serial publication as it contains primary sources concerning the 1916 Rising. Included are: J. J. O’Connell’s memoir of the Irish Volunteers, 
1914–16, 1917, edited by Daithí Ó Corráin; ‘To tell you all about it’: a letter from Mrs Marion Kelleher to family members written in the immediate aftermath of the 1916 Rising in Dublin, edited by James McGuire; ‘A citizen’s diary’: Henry Hanna’s narrative of the
 1916 Rebellion, with annotations by Denis Johnston, edited W. J. Mc Cormack; ‘My experiences in the 1916 Rising’ by Father Columbus Murphy O.F.S.C., 29 July 1916, edited by Conor Mulvagh and John McCafferty. The Commission will publish four editions covering the decade of centenaries and more details about these editions can be found on page 3 of our current catalogue.


Books of Survey & Distribution - 04/07/2016
As part of a joint project with TCD to digitise all 20 volumes of the Books of Survey and Distribution, the digital imaging phase of the work has recently completed. The manuscript books are in the collections of the National Archives of Ireland. The ultimate aim is to make available online for free a searchable version of this important manuscript source for seventeenth-century land ownership. Pictured right are the chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, James McGuire, with the director of the National Archives, John McDonough, at the formal presentation of the preservation quality copy of c. 5,700 images to the National Archives.


Extract from Proclamations used in 2016 Leaving Certificate History exam - 16/06/2016
Yesterday an extract from the 2014 five-volume edition of The Proclamations of Ireland, 1660-1820 edited by James Kelly with Mary Ann Lyons was used as a document in the Leaving Certificate History exam (Ordinary Level). The extract was used for Topic 6: The end of the Irish kingdom and the establishment of the Union, 1770-1815. The edited extract, from a proclamation dated 13 January 1801, “Urging economy in the consumption of corn, grain and potatoes” was issued because the previous crop harvest had been poor. Students had to answer a variety of questions on food supply and preservation of food supplies based on the text and a wider understanding of the topic. The Proclamations of Ireland edition is proving to be useful outside of the discipline of history - it was also used by the Statute Law Revision Programme (SLRP) (under the aegis of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform) in 2014 to compile a list of obsolete statutes in Irish law which will now be repealed. Read about the work of the SLRP here.


NI Attorney General launches two IMC editions - 04/03/2016
Last night Mr John Larkin QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland, launched two recently published IMC editions - Early Stuart Irish warrants, 1623-1639 and The acts of James II's Irish parliament of 1689. The audience, which included members of the judiciary, heard Mr Larkin praise the scholarly work of the editors Dr Mark Empey, Dr John Bergin and Dr Andrew Lyall (the latter could not be present) in bringing these texts into print. Echoing the words of a former legal mentor he emphasised the importance of reading statutes when interpreting the law and described how these editions would now enhance our understanding of the operation of statutes in the seventeenth century. The editors responded with gratitude to Mr Larkin's analysis of their editions and they outlined the genesis of their work and the journey in bringing it to publication. To the pleasure of the audience Mr Larkin praised the work of IMC, including its Administrator Dr Cathy Hayes and its Chairman James McGuire, in publishing primary sources to such high standards in a time of economic austerity, work he said which was nothing short of miraculous.


Newly published - 01/03/2016
The first modern scholarly edition of the acts of James II's 1689 Irish parliament, edited by John Bergin and Andrew Lyall has just been published.

While all 35 acts of this parliament were subsequently ordered by William III to be cancelled and destroyed, the texts of 25 acts still survive. These dealt with the land settlement, the war, taxation, the legal system and the constitutional relationship with England, religious liberty and tithes and trade and economic development. The acts show a Catholic ruling class legislating for present needs and for a Jacobite settlement that was not to be.

You can buy the book through our website here or order it through any good bookshop.

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Recently published - 22/02/2016
We are delighted to announce the publication of Early Stuart Irish warrants, 1623-1639: the Falkland and Wentworth administrations edited by Mark Empey. The warrants in this publication not only shed light on the function of government, but also provide valuable information on virtually every aspect of the more routine affairs of life in early modern Ireland including political, administrative, military, religious, economic, social and cultural matters in the years from 1623 to 1639. Mark Empey is a post-doctoral fellow on the Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women's Writing, 1550-1700 project at NUI Galway. The edition is available to buy on our website here.


Review of recent IMC edition - 01/02/2016
Read the great review of David Edwards' book Campaign journals of the Elizabethan Irish wars by Willy Maley, Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Glasgow, in the February issue of The Spenser Review Professor Maley writes '… David Edwards, alongside his colleague at Cork, Hiram Morgan, has provided access to vital source material [providing much-needed context for Spenser's Irish experiences]. Campaign journals of the Elizabethan Irish wars is the latest and most substantial contribution, a treasure-chest of information on the workings of the English colonial administration in Spenser's lifetime.' He concludes his review by saying 'This is one book reviewed that I know I will return to again and again.' The edition is available to buy on our website here.

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