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1922 salved material - 12/10/2017

Steady progress is being made on the conservation assessment of the salved 1922 material in the joint IMC-NAI project reported on in June 2017.

To date 37 boxes of material have been examined and some examples of the damaged material are pictured to the right. Many items show fire damage ranging from burnt and charred areas to discolouration and staining. In about 20% of material examined thus far 50 - 75% of the text is legible.

You can follow progress in this fascinating project on Twitter by following NAI @NARIreland or IMC @irishmanuscript.


Back to Our Past - 11/10/2017
Why not visit us at Back to Our Past in the Shelbourne Hall, RDS on October 20-22, 2017? We'll be sharing a stand with the Royal Irish Academy and Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. All of our titles of genealogical interest will be available for sale.


Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623-1669 - 09/10/2017
Available for purchase here from 16th October 2017: Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669 edited by Bríd McGrath. This manuscript, still in private hands, records the decisions taken by the Common Council of Coleraine for the period 1623–1669. For the ten years prior to 1623 all significant decisions regarding Coleraine’s development and administration were taken in London; after this time Coleraine’s Common Council had greater scope to direct the expansion of the town and create a new urban centre and community in the north of Ireland. This book provides a complete listing of the membership of the Common Council and a full account of their decisions.

Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669 records the Council’s attempts to control trade, its relationship with the merchant community and the military, its methods of raising taxes, its response to the upheavals of the 1640s, adjustment to the Commonwealth and the Restoration. Through it we also see the councillors’ concern with their own interests and social status, including the annual mayoral elections and their precedence within the Council, but also their acquisition of status symbols such as official dress and town silver. This edition will be of particular interest to scholars working on urban history, early modern Ireland, early modern social structures, military historians and local historians.

Buy Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623-1669 here.


Analecta Hibernica 48 - 02/10/2017
The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce that the 48th issue of the IMC’s serial publication - Analecta Hibernica - edited by Professor James Kelly is now available. Robert Cowley’s ‘A discourse of the cause of the evil state of Ireland and the remedies thereof ’, c. 1526, edited by David Heffernan; Sir Barnaby O’Brien’s Irish revenues: Thomond rent, 1629 and Carlow tenants 1639, edited by Brian Mac Cuarta; Additional Patrick Darcy papers: correspondence and legal opinions, 1632, 1661–62, edited by Bríd McGrath; Financial accounts of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and Sir George Radcliffe, 1639–40, edited by Fiona Pogson; and The library of a seventeenth-century Irish physician — Charles Willoughby MD, c. 1630–1694, edited by K. Theodore Hoppen. Buy Analecta Hibernica No 48 here.


Culture Night - 22/09/2017

This evening was Culture Night and IMC - along with the Irish Architectural Archive, with whom we share No. 45 Merrion Square - welcomed almost 600 visitors to the building between 5 pm and 11 pm.

The IMC display included primary sources from the 14th century - the large format facsimiles of early Irish manuscripts - through to the 20th century - correspondence from WWI and top secret reports on the state of the Irish army throughout the Emergency.

Pictured right are: (1) some of the publications from the display of genealogical sources and socio-economic history sources; (2) Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín explaining the contents of the Book of Uí Maine, written around 1394, to an interested visitor; and (3) an image from the slide show about IMC and its work showing the destruction of the Four Courts and the loss of many state records during fighting in 1922.

Culture Night provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to engage with IMC members about the work of the Commission. IMC members include historians from all over Ireland with expertise in many different periods of history.

While the genealogical sources and social history sources such as Elaine Farrell's edition on cases of infanticide in the Irish Crown Files at Assizes in the late 19th century are perennially popular with visitors, many people are impressed by the wide range of manuscripts represented in IMC editions ranging as they do from early science to literature.

Perhaps if you did not get a chance to visit the South Georgian Quarter on Culture Night this year, you might visit us next year!


Culture Night 2017 - 10/08/2017
Don't forget to come and join members of the Irish Manuscripts Commission on Culture Night, Friday 22 September. Members of the Commission will be available to talk about the primary sources which form the basis of IMC editions and calendars. Books on display will include the impressive large-format facsimiles of the early Irish manuscripts such as the Book of Uí Maine and the Patrician documents of the Book of Armagh. On the night we will also have a slide show outlining the work of the Irish Manuscripts Commission since its foundation in 1928. All are welcome.


1922 salved materials - 01/06/2017

The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce a joint project with the National Archives of Ireland to examine material recovered from the Four Courts after its destruction in 1922.

This seminal event in Irish history marked the destruction of significant tranches of Irish records. It had a devestating impact on the writing of Irish history and the preservation of Ireland’s heritage. The event was the catalyst for the establishment of the Irish Manuscripts Commission (IMC) by W. T. Cosgrave and the Executive Council six years later in 1928.

The salved material held by the National Archives ranges from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries and comprises some 221 bundles of records. The joint project will involve conservation assessment and archival listing of the salvaged parcels.

The conservation assessment and listing of the material in the bundles will open up these collections for research and further inquiry and also enable the prioritisation of further conservation.

A hard copy catalogue of the salvaged material will be published to further increase awareness of this material.

Pictured right is an image of the destruction of the Four Courts in 1922.


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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