Irish Manuscripts Commission Collection Belfast Central Library
Collection

Description

According to the Catalogue of Publications produced by the Irish Manuscripts Commission, the Commission was established in 1928, "to report on collections of manuscripts and papers of literary, historical and general interest relating to Ireland, whether in private or public ownership, and also to arrange for and supervise the execution of programmes of publications." The collection in Belfast Central Library comprises some one hundred and forty-one volumes and includes surveys, maps, wills, administrative records, manuscripts and correspondence. The Correspondence of Emily, Duchess of Leinster for example, provides a vivid account of social and political life in Ireland and England in the second half of the eighteenth century. The letters, written to Lady Amelia Lennox by members of her extensive family, abound with references to the leading figures of the time such as pitt, Fox, Grattan, Mrs Siddons, Walpole and Garrick. There are over sixty letters from her son Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the renowned United Irishman, and nearly one hundred letters from Lady Sarah Lennox, Amelia’s sister, who was reputedly proposed to by George the Third. Amongst the best known surveys reproduced by the Commission is the Census of Ireland 1659 edited by Seamus Pender, which contains copies of townland census returns of the inhabitants of Ireland, compiled under the direction of Sir William Petty. Family records are published such as the Red Book of Ormond. It is a register of the property of the Butler family written mainly in the fourteenth century and is the oldest Irish family register still in existence. Facsimiles of manuscripts also form part of the collection, the most notable being The Oldest Fragments of the Senchas Mar, an ancient collection of Irish law texts. Apart from the individual works there are thirty-three volumes of Analecta Hibernica, the journal of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. The journal includes various documents such as reports on manuscripts collections, descriptive catalogues, lists and indexes, which are unsuited to publication in separate volumes.The collection provides an invaluable resource for the historian undertaking research on different aspects of life in Ireland from medieval times to the present day, as witnessed by one of the most recent publications of the commission, the Select Guide to Trade Union Records in Dublin with details of Unions operating in Ireland to 1970.

Strengths

The collection is varied and of particular interest to historians, covering subjects such as the correspondence of Daniel o'Connell, Irish monastic and Episcopal Deeds and Irish Trade Union records. There is a wealth of material of interest to thefamily historian e.g. Quaker records, the Civil Survey and the Census of Ireland 1659. journal contains the reports of the Commission as well as various articles considered too small for separate publication.

Physical Characteristics

141 volumes.

Languages

English

Collection Type

Collection.Library.Text.Special

Accrual

Policy: Active   Method: Purchase;   Periodicity: Irregular

Access

The material may be consulted at Belfast Central Library. Enquiries should be made to the Local History Department on the second floor. The material is for reference only. An appointment is not necessary

Legal Status

Libraries NI have legal owership of this collection. All enquiries regarding access and permissions should be directed to Libraries NI.

Description or Catalogue

Itemised handlist.

Collector

Name

Libraries NI

Role

Public Library Service

History

The Northern Ireland Library Authority (Libraries NI) was established in April 2009 as a result of the Review of Public Administration. Libraries NI has the statutory responsibility for the provision of public library services in Northern Ireland. Its functions are laid down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. It is a Non Departmental Public Body which reports to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Board of the Authority consists of a Chairperson and 18 Members, 11 of whom are Councillors, within the meaning of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. All Board Members are appointed by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The executive business of the Board is carried out by a team of officers under the leadership of the Chief Executive. The Executive Team is organised into three strategic units, each being led by a member of the Senior Management Team.



Location

Name

Belfast Central Library

Address

Belfast Ulster and Irish Studies Department, Royal Avenue, Belfast

United Kingdom
BT1 1EA

Website

http://www.belb.org.uk/library/centralLibrary.htm

Access Control

Most of the stock is available for loan to any registered member of the Northern Ireland Library Authority. Hire charges apply to audio/ visual stock. Borrower tickets can be acquired from any public library in Northern Ireland on production of valid identification confirming name and address. A limited amount of material is for reference only. No prior appointment is necessary. Library opening hours are Monday to Thursday (09.00-20.00), Friday (09.00-17.30) and Saturday (09.00-16.30).

Administrator Role

Irish & Local Studies Librarian

Phone

+44 (0)28 9050 9150

Email

p.walker@libraries.belfast-elb.gov.uk

Owner

Role

Public Library Service

Telephone

00442837520738

Email

enquiries@librariesni.org.uk

History

The Northern Ireland Library Authority (Libraries NI) was established in April 2009 as a result of the Review of Public Administration. Libraries NI has the statutory responsibility for the provision of public library services in Northern Ireland. Its functions are laid down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. It is a Non Departmental Public Body which reports to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Board of the Authority consists of a Chairperson and 18 Members, 11 of whom are Councillors, within the meaning of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. All Board Members are appointed by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The executive business of the Board is carried out by a team of officers under the leadership of the Chief Executive. The Executive Team is organised into three strategic units, each being led by a member of the Senior Management Team.