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Launch of CPR vol. 23, part 1 - 14/11/2018
On Wednesday 14 November the Irish Manuscripts Commission launched the latest volume in the Calendar of Papal Registers series. This volume - No. 23, Part 1 - covers the papacy of Clement VII. The volume, edited for publication by Dr Alan Macquarrie, was launched at a magnificent reception hosted by the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, His Excellency Mr Derek Hannon. Pictured right are: (Top) IMC Chair, Professor John McCafferty with the display of CPR volumes published by IMC since 1970 and some other related works which was prepared by Monsignor Charles Burns; (middle) the Vatican Librarian and Archivist, His Excellency The Most Reverend José Tolentino Mendonça, talking with Ambassador Hannon; and (bottom) members of the CPR Editorial Board (Professor Eamon Duffy, Monsignor Charles Burns and Professor John McCafferty) with the editor, Dr Alan Macquarrie. You can buy this important volume, the last in the series, here.


Letters of Katherine Conolly published - 31/10/2018
The Commission is delighted to announce the publication today of this edition of the letters of Katherine Conolly covering the period 1707 to 1747. The editor, Dr Marie-Louise Jennings, sadly passed away in August 2015 and the text she submitted to IMC before then was subsequently elaborated for publication by Dr Gabrielle M. Ashford. This edition, complete with printed endpapers, is available to purchase here.


IMC at 90 - 17/10/2018
This afternoon a seminar took place to mark the 90th anniversary since the announcement in Dáil Eireann on 17 October 1928 of the membership of the newly formed Irish Manuscripts Commission. Today's event kicked off with the launch by the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD of the Irish Manuscripts Commission Strategic Development Plan for 2018-2022. To much amusement the Ceann Comhairle pondered if in 90 years time IMC might be publishing a primary sources based on the collected Tweets of various social-media savvy politicians! The launch of the new plan was followed by four short presentations reflecting both the people who were so important in the foundation of the Commission and its early publishing programmes, chiefly Eoin MacNeill, and also exciting updates on two projects with which IMC is associated and which use the best of modern techniques to make sources for history available for the widest possible study. Pictured to the right are (L-R) Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD, Dr Michael Kennedy (DIFP, Royal Irish Academy), Dr Elva Johnston (UCD), Dr Peter Crooks (Beyond 2022, TCD) and Zoë Reid (1922 PROI salved materials, NAI). The IMC Chair, Professor John McCafferty thanked the speakers for making the seminar such a special occasion. Of course a birthday party isn't a party without cake, so there was plenty of cake to mark this special day.


Happy Birthday IMC! - 10/10/2018
Today, 10 October 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. This is the date on which the warrant of appointment, laying out the terms of reference for the Commission, was signed by W. T. Cosgrave, President of the Executive Council. IMC is still delivering on the core objectives captured in that warrant, to preserve and make available primary sources for the history of Ireland and thus to provide the documents on which the writing of history can be based.


Strategic Development Plan, 2018-2022 - 01/10/2018
IMC is delighted to announce the publication of its Strategic Development Plan for the next five years. The plan follows on from the previous strategic plan and commits to a publication programme that will ensure IMC's place as the premier publisher of primary source material for the history or Ireland and its peoples. The plan also restates IMC's role as an advisor on issues and policies relating to manuscripts, as a promoter of awareness of the need to preserve primary sources, and as a collaborative partner in projects to bring primary sources to the widest audience possible. A PDF of the plan can be downloaded here.


Analecta Hibernia No. 49 is published - 26/09/2018
The latest issue of Analecta Hibernia No. 49 has just been published. It is available to purchase here. This issue contains the following contributions: Aqua lunaris and Oleum solis: a copy of a manuscript by Richard Stanihurst (edited by Conleth Loonan); Interrogating Richard Boyle: The Savoy House Proceedings of 1599 (edited by David Edwards); The appeal of Thomas Franke to the Court of Claims, 1666 (edited by John Johnston); France and Ireland in the late Eighteenth century: The correspondence of Charles Coquebert de Montbret and Andrew Caldwell (edited by Jane Conroy and Barbara Wright). This issue also includes a report to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the period 1 January-31 December 2017, and an obituary for Professor Franics J. Byrne who passed away at the end of 2017. IMC is indebted to the editor of Analecta Hibernia - Professor James Kelly.


Culture Night - 21/09/2018
Culture Night 2018 and IMC members were on duty to discuss and explain the work of the Commission as well as some of the many and varied primary sources preserved in its editions. From the large format facsimiles of the early Irish manuscripts, to the late nineteenth-century court records of prosecutions for infanticide, there is much to talk about and much of interest. A heartfelt thanks to all who came to look at the exhibition and to talk to IMC members and to listen to the animated short talk about IMC given by Professor Thomas O'Connor, Director of Maynooth University Arts and Humanities Institute. Also present on the night and talking to visitors about the significance of the records preserved in the publications were: Máire Mac Conghail and Nicola Morris (genealogy sources); Dr Ciara Breathnach (UL) (20th century and science & literature sources); Dr Elva Johnston (UCD) and Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (NUIG) (medieval and early Irish sources); Emeritus Professor Louis Cullen (TCD) (socio-economic sources); and Professor Marian Lyons (MU) and IMC Chair, Professor John McCafferty (early modern sources).


Dr Brian Trainor - 24/08/2018
The Irish Manuscripts Commission has learned with regret of the passing of Dr Brian Trainor, a former Chairman of the Commission (1976-1977 and 1987-1998). Dr Trainor died on Wednesday 22 August. As a former director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Ulster Historical Foundation he was intimately connected with the worlds of history and archives throughout the island of Ireland. As Chairman of the Commission, Brian oversaw the publication of four issues of Analecta Hibernica (edited by Brian) and seventeen editions and reprints of primary source materials including the first of the registers of the archbishops of Armagh (for Milo Sweteman) and the first output from the Women's History Project (The Drennan-McTier letters, 1776-1819). During Brian's chairmanship the responsibility for the very successful IMC initiative regarding business records was handed over to the newly established National Archives of Ireland. Brian had a passion for archives and for making records available and he worked tirelessly towards that end. May he rest in peace.


Culture Night 2018 - 16/08/2018

It is that time of year again! Culture Night will take place on Friday 21 September and members of the Irish Manuscripts Commission will be available to discuss hundreds of primary sources published by the Commission.

Please do come along to see the exhibition of publications and listen to the short A/V presentations about the work of the IMC in this special year - the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Commission in 1928.

We will be open from 5 pm to 11 pm on the night and we look forward to seeing you then!


IMC Annual Report for 2017 - 27/07/2018
The IMC Annual Report for 2017 is now available to download as a PDF here. The Annual Report combines the Chairman's report on activities in 2017 as well as the audited company accounts.


Calendar of Papal Registers Vol. 23, Part 1, published - 29/06/2018

IMC is delighted to announce the publication of the final volume in the Calendar of Papal Registers series. The volume will be published in two parts. Vol. 23, part 1 has been edited for publication by Alan Macquarrie.

The Papal Registers preserved in the Vatican Archives cover the period from the 12th century to the 16th century. They constitute and almost continuous record of bulls, rescripts, and less formal letters between the Papal Curia and royal, noble and more humble personages. They also contain diplomatic mandates concerning ecclesiastical appointments, confirmations of monastic foundations and endowments, privileges, dispensations and exemptions for laymen and clerics and a vast amount of miscellaneous matter arising out of the administrative and judicial activity of the Church and the Papal Curia. As such, these are essential background papers for students of the reformation.

This volume of papal letters covers the first tranche of the Lateran Registers for the momentous pontificate of Clement VII (1523–1534), and brings to light a great mass of information — biographical, topographical and political — about the churches in Great Britain and Ireland on the eve of Henry VIII’s break with Rome. The letters imply a constant traffic between these islands and the Curia, and provide valuable insights into relations between the national churches and the papacy. Especially striking are the differences between the types of legal transactions engaged in within the churches in the different parts of these islands. These are essential background papers for students of the Reformation.

Vol. 23, Part 1 is available to purchase here. Other volumes in the series which are still available are listed here.


Launch of Neo Latin 17th-century epic - 16/02/2018

The audience that gathered last night for the launch of the 17th-century Latin epic Poema de Hibernia reflected the dual appeal of this manuscript source. One of the few complete Latin epics from the early modern period for Ireland, the interest in this source has been broadened by the scholarly translation of the text provided by Keith Sidwell. Pictured right are Keith Sidwell (joint editor), John McCafferty (IMC chairman), Anna Chahoud (Professor of Classics at TCD), Pádraig Lenihan (joint editor) and Harman Murtagh (Visiting Fellow at Athlone Institute of Technology).

Commenting on the Latin text, Professor Chahoud said how the author would have chosen the epic form as a prestigious way to communicate his view of contemporary subjects. She added that the editors had done justice to the Neo Latin text and provided a wonderfully readable translation. Analysing the translation further, Dr Murtagh said that this edition was a worthy addition to the Jacobite sources already published by IMC. He continued that while the author was clearly classically educated and outward looking, it was quite clear that he was deeply saddened by events which had happened. He concluded by saying that the text was a very fluent one and the notes provided by the editors were a superb resource for anyone reading the text, which he commended to the audience.

Dr Padraig Lenihan thanked the launchers, but also James McGuire, former chairman of IMC, for his meticulous work in copyediting the edition for publication. Professor Keith Sidwell concluded proceedings by reading a passage from the Latin text which captured the author’s sadness at watching the departing armies leaving for France.

This text is available for purchase here.


Beyond 2022 - 08/02/2018

The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to be a partner in the ‘Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury’ project. The project, based in Trinity College Dublin, was launched today.

Pictured at the launch are (back, L-R) Dr Séamus Lawless, Assistant Professor, ADAPT Centre and School of Computer Science, Trinity; Jeff James Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives (UK); Dr Peter Crooks, Assistant Professor, School of Histories and Humanities, Trinity; John McDonough, Director of the National Archives of Ireland. (front, L-R) Michael Willis, Director and Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Records Office of Northern Ireland; Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub; John, McCafferty Chair, Irish Manuscripts Commission; Lorna Hughes, Professor in Digital Humanities, University of Glasgow and Chair of Beyond 2022’s External Advisory Board and Professor Linda Doyle, Dean of Research, Trinity.

For more information about the project please see here.


Search Early Modern correspondence online - 31/01/2018
Why not search the Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) database - it can be accessed here. The 2015 IMC edition of the Ussher correspondence edited by Dr Elizabethanne Boran is currently one of the featured catalogues along with those for the correspondence of Juan Luis Vives and Baruch Spinoza.


Poema de Hibernia publication - 30/01/2018
The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Poema de Hibernia, edited by Pádraig Lenihan and Keith Sidwell.

This contemporaneous poem provides a detailed account of the Williamite war in Ireland from the perspective of the losers. It exists in only one manuscript (Gilbert MS 141), along with a late nineteenth-century copy (Gilbert MS 142). Written in Latin the text has never been published in its entirety. We are enormously grateful to Dublin City Library and Archives for making the manuscript available.

The Poema departs from the polarised perspectives of both the pro-Tyrconnell 'A light to the blind' and the anti-Tyrconnell bias of Charles O'Kelly's Macariae Excidium. It points to a middle ground among Jacobite factions in Ireland and at the same time touches on important episodes passed over by other contemporary accounts. This scholarly edition provides the entire Latin text and an expert English translation of a poem of great historical importance.


Ussher correspondence added to EMLO - 29/01/2018
The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce that the metadata associated with Dr Elizabethanne Boran’s 2015 IMC edition of the Correspondence of James Ussher, 1600-1656 has been added to the Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) database. Created by the Cultures of Knowledge Project with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, EMLO is a combined finding aid and editorial interface for basic descriptions of early modern correspondence.

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