Captain Francis O’Neill’s collection 1001 Gems: The Dance Music of Ireland (1907) is so important to the world of Irish traditional music that it’s sometimes called the Bible or simply, ‘The Book’. Starting as a pandemic project, the Irish composer and musicologist Seán Doherty analyzed all 1001 tunes in this influential collection. In this lecture and performance, Seán will discuss the music along with O’Neill’s biography and will play tunes linked to key moments in Chief O’Neill’s life.
The exhibition Making and Unmaking Emancipation in Cuba and the United States is now open and will run through the fall semester.
Curator-led tours, open to the public, will be held noon–1:00pm on the following upcoming Fridays: October 13 and 27, and November 17.
Tours of the exhibit may also be arranged for classes and other groups by contacting Rachel Bohlmann at (574) 631-1575 or Rachel.Bohlmann.email@example.com.
The October spotlight exhibits are Football and Community at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (August – December 2023) and Path to Sainthood: Brother Columba O’Neill (October – November 2023).
RBSC will be open regular hours (9:30am – 4:30pm) during the University of Notre Dame’s Fall Break, October 16 – 20.
This month, thousands of supporters of Notre Dame’s football team will travel to Ireland for the Aer Lingus Classic, to be played against the Naval Academy in Aviva Stadium in Dublin on August 26th.
The Hesburgh Libraries, home of one of the great Irish studies collections, has found a way to enhance visitors’ experience of Dublin while also telling them about connections with our library. We have developed a short and interesting walk in Dublin’s city center that connects stories of our library collection with the streets and buildings along the way. We hope the discussion of special books and manuscripts within a geographical context will make for a memorable experience.
The tour may be followed using an online app that combines a spoken narrative, mapped directions, and additional links to library books and manuscripts.
On Thursday, August 24th, the program will be introduced in Trinity College, Dublin, and will feature musicians from Trinity’s Traditional Music Society along with the librarians who will set the scene for the ‘Hesburgh Libraries Walk.’
Anyone may download the walk app to their phone, allowing them to follow the walk. The walking tour is guided by a map, an audio narrative, and visual details. For those taking the walk immediately following the presentation, Hesburgh Library personnel will provide wi-fi along the route.
A Hesburgh Libraries Walk in Dublin City Center Maharry Theatre, Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin Thursday, August 24th, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
To follow the self-guided walking tour, use the QR code here and follow the instructions.
We congratulate the following scholars who won this award in 2023, and we hope they will enjoy, as well as benefit from, their time in the Hesburgh Libraries.
The Keough-Naughton Library Research Award in Irish Studies, a grant designed to assist scholars who travel to use the Irish collections at the Hesburgh Libraries, was inaugurated in 2018. The annual competitive award is sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute of Irish Studies and ND International.
Dr. Seán Doherty, a lecturer at the School of Theology, Philosophy and Music, Dublin City University, is a composer and musicologist.
His project is ‘Patterns in 1001 Gems: The O’Neill Collection of Traditional Irish Music.’
Seán expects to visit in the fall and will work closely with the O’Neill Collection, the personal library of Francis O’Neill, the Chicago Chief of Police whose published collections of Irish traditional dance music have played a large role in the music of Ireland.
Dr. Anne Jamison, Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia.
Anne is a feminist literary critic with a research focus on nineteenth-century Ireland and also on Australian women’s literature. She has published widely on Somerville and Ross as well as on other Irish women writers.
Her project is ‘Irish Women’s Fairy Tale and Fantasy Writing for Children, 1800-1935.’
She expects to visit this summer, and to make great use of the Irish literature collections throughout the Hesburgh Library, focusing on works by Winifred Letts, Rosa Mulholland and Frances Browne in our Rare Books and Special Collections.
Annabel Barry is at the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a PhD candidate.
The Henry Grattan Pamphlet Collection, purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries some twenty years ago, deserves to be highlighted in a blogpost.
Henry Grattan (1746-1820), was a prominent Irish politician, closely associated with the Irish parliament so that from 1782 until the Act of Union of 1800, it was known as ‘Grattan’s Parliament.’
The collection of books and pamphlets, bound together in nine volumes, comprise part of his personal library. These nine volumes became separated from the rest of the Grattan Library which was sold at auction in 1888. These volumes were discovered some hundred years later in a country house in Ireland.
The thematically-arranged volumes are handsomely bound with a title on each spine and a list of contents inside, hand-written in ink by Henry Grattan and another person. Many of the publications also have marginal pencil marks and some have annotations.
The volumes are as follows:
1. Ireland. Free Trade & Independence 2. Ireland. 3. Ireland. 1798 4. Ireland. Catholics 5. Ireland. Catholics 6. Ireland. Catholics 7. Ireland. Union 8. Ireland. Union 9. Ireland. Union
The fourth volume shown here has the usual listing of contents written on the inside cover, and this volume also has Henry Grattan’s name inscribed in ink.
Grattan’s careful reading of some of the publications may be inferred from pencil marks in the margins. In this example, the penciled annotations appear to have been cut when the pamphlet was trimmed for binding.
While the individual pamphlets are rare in libraries, digitized copies of various editions are available. Therefore, it is the provenance and the selection and grouping together of these publications that makes them so interesting, as part of the working library of an Irish politician.
The current spotlight exhibits are Language and Materiality in Late Medieval England (February – early May 2023) and Hagadah shel Pesaḥ le-zekher ha-Shoʼah – Pessach Haggadah in memory of the Holocaust (April – May 2023).
Rare Books and Special Collections is open regular hours during the summer — 9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
RBSC will be closed Monday, May 29th, for Memorial Day and Tuesday, July 4th, for Independence Day.
Tours of the exhibit may be arranged for classes and other groups, and additional curator-led tours are available at 12 noon on the following upcoming Friday: April 21.
The April spotlight exhibits are Language and Materiality in Late Medieval England (February – April 2023) and Hagadah shel Pesaḥ le-zekher ha-Sho’ah – Pessach Haggadah in memory of the Holocaust (April – May 2023).
The Treaty of 1922 resulted in the formation of the Irish Free State. This tenth anniversary book, published under the Minister for Industry and Commerce and edited by Bulmer Hobson, is intended to show the world how Ireland has developed in all areas, from science and industry to education and art. The book is profusely illustrated.
The cover design by Art O’Murnaghan (1872-1954), is clearly making reference to the style of early Irish illuminated manuscripts. This decorative style, based on the art of illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, became very popular during the Celtic Revival of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
An earlier example of the celebration of early Irish art is found in ‘The Cromlech on Howth’, a book that combines the fascination and research into Irish art and literature with a poem by Samuel Ferguson, decoration by Margaret Stokes, and an essay on Irish script by George Petrie.
Shamrocks and harps, however, have been used as emblems of Ireland for centuries, and in America in particular, book bindings of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries proclaim the Irish context with a harp, a decoration of shamrocks, or both. In The Days of a Life, by “Norah” (Margaret Dixon McDougall), is a story of Ireland showing the plight of the laborers and the abuse of the landlord class, from the perspective of a young Canadian visitor. The additional images of a round tower and the ruins of a castle or monastery are also typically suggestive of Ireland’s history.
The tiny edition of Thomas Moore’s extraordinarily popular Irish Melodies shown here includes a ‘female harp’ combining the harp, a symbol of Ireland with the female personification of Ireland. Among Moore’s Melodies, ‘The Harp that Once Through Tara’s Hall’ is one of Moore’s many references to the harp.
The harp that once through Tara’s hall The soul of music shed, Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls As if that soul were fled. So sleeps the pride of former days, So glory’s thrill is o’er, And hearts, that once beat high for praise, Now feel that pulse no more.
No more to chiefs and ladies bright The harp of Tara swells: The chord alone that breaks at night, Its tale of ruin tells. Thus freedom now so seldom wakes, The only throb she gives, Is when some heart indignant breaks. To show that still she lives.
A Philadelphia edition of Mrs. S. C. Hall’s stories, Wearing of the Green, or, Sketches of Irish Character, published in 1868, has a winged woman as part of the harp.
This bound set of issues of Duffys Hibernian Magazine, published in Dublin in 1860, bears the bookplate Mathew Dorey of Dublin.
Tours of the exhibit may be arranged for classes and other groups, and additional curator-led tours are available at 12 noon on the upcoming Fridays: March 10 and 31, April 7 and 21.
An exhibit lecture, “The Changing Face of Irish Writing” by Brian Ó Conchubhair (Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature, University of Notre Dame), will be held this spring in Special Collections, at a date that will be announced later.
The March spotlight exhibits are Language and Materiality in Late Medieval England (February – April 2023) and “That Just Isn’t Fair; Settling for Left-Overs”: African American Women Activists and Athletes in 1970s Feminist Magazines (February – March 2023).
Please note that the corridor outside RBSC is temporarily narrowed to a pedestrian tunnel due to ongoing library renovations, but we generally remain open during our regular hours (Monday through Friday, 9:30am – 4:30pm.)
This semester’s exhibit, “Printing the Nation: A Century of Irish Book Arts” curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, invites visitors to look beyond the text and consider other aspects of books in our Irish collection.
To highlight the influence of early art on Irish book decoration and illustration in the early twentieth century, we have ‘borrowed’ the fine art facsimile Book of Kells from the Paleography Room on the 7th floor.
Chapters of the history of the book in Ireland include the stories of printing presses, and we have selected a small sampling from our extensive collections of important presses such as the Cuala Press founded by the Yeats sisters, Colm Ó Lochlainn’s Three Candles Press, and the Dolmen Press of Liam Miller. Contemporary printing presses are also represented, with a limited edition from Salvage Press and the 1916 commemorative book 16 which was published by Stoney Road Press.
The exhibit’s title poster incorporates an illustration by Liam Miller, from the cover of Ten Poems by Padraic Colum, which is featured in the first case. The fonts in the poster, American Uncial and Pilgrim, were selected to reflect choices made by Irish printers. The poster was designed by Sara Weber.
The Irish language posed particular challenges for printers up to the 1960s when the standard of Irish language became the Roman alphabet. Throughout the exhibition, various examples are displayed of the styles of lettering used for Irish language titles and text.
The aspect of typefaces in the Irish language will be the subject of a lecture later in the semester:
“The Changing Face of Irish Writing”
Lecture by Brian Ó Conchubhair, Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature, University of Notre Dame
The date of this lecture will be announced later.
The exhibit is open Monday – Friday, through July 2023.
Tours of the exhibit may be arranged for classes and other groups, and additional curator-led tours are available at 12 noon on the following Fridays:
“Anybody here speak English? / Non dovete avere paura, non c’è ragione”: Dubbing as Translation and Rewriting in Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna, by Santain Tavella
The Infernal Arno: Mapping the Arno in Dante’s Hell through the Lens of Purg. XIV, by Toby Hale
Tuesday, February 28 at 3:30pm | Exhibit Lecture: “The Changing Face of Irish Writing” by Brian Ó Conchubhair (Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature, University of Notre Dame). This lecture has had to be rescheduled—a new date will be announced later.
The spring exhibit, Printing the Nation: A Century of Irish Book Arts, features selected books from the Hesburgh Libraries’ Special Collections that demonstrate the art and craft of the Irish book since 1900. The exhibit, curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, will run through the semester.
The February spotlight exhibits are Language and Materiality in Late Medieval England (February – April 2023) and “That Just Isn’t Fair; Settling for Left-Overs”: African American Women Activists and Athletes in 1970s Feminist Magazines
(February – March 2023).
Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed from 11:30am to 2:00pm on Thursday, February 9, 2023.