Irish Maps in the Hesburgh Library

The Hesburgh Library is home to a great collection of maps of Ireland, the collection of the late Mr. Thomas McGrath, which he gave to the Library over twenty years ago.  He gave a lecture on the occasion of donating his collection, and the text of his lecture, along with illustrations, is on the Rare Books website: The Joy of the Chase: Collecting old Irish Maps.

It would be nice to see the maps used more often for teaching and research, and so we plan to improve the cataloging of these maps over the coming year, and also to investigate digitization.

Chart of Cork Harbour

A New and Correct Chart of the Harbour of Corke by the Revd. J. Lindsay, 1759.

Mr. McGrath’s collection included sea charts, which he gave to the library as a separate collection, named the Butler Collection of Sea Charts in honor of his wife’s family.

In addition to the McGrath and Butler Collections, there are many maps of Ireland in books in the Hesburgh Special Collections.  Examples:

Scale, Bernard.  An Hibernian atlas: or, General description of the kingdom of Ireland divided into provinces with its sub-divisions of counties, baronies, &c. shewing their boundaries, extent, soil, produce, contents, measure, members of Parliament, and number of inhabitants, also the cities, boroughs, villages, mountains, bogs, lakes, rivers and natural curiosities …by Bernard Scale, land surveyor ; and beautifully engraved on 78 copper plates by Messrs. Ellis and Palmer. —    London :   Printed for Robert Sayer…,   1776.
Special Collections Vault G 1830 .S33 1776
Petty, William, Sir   A geographicall description of ye kingdom of Ireland. Collected from ye actual survey made by Sr. William Petty-Corrected & amended, by the advice, & assistance, of severall able artists, late inhabitants of that kingdom- Containing one generall mapp, of ye whole kingdom, with four provincial mapps, & 32. county mapps. …   London :   Engraven & published for ye benefit of ye publique, by Fra: Lamb….   [1689]
Special Collections Vault G 1831 .C21 G46 1689z
The maps form an attractive part of the library collections, and we welcome requests from professors to introduce their classes to the maps, and also suggestions on how to make the maps more useful and accessible for student work.

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