Old, inadequate catalogues

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 5 (Sept/Oct 2012), Volume 20

Many of the National Library’s most valuable collections pertaining to the Irish struggle for independence were catalogued in the 1930s and ’40s, when the institution’s expertise and resources were at a premium. As a consequence (as many readers may have discovered), the catalogue descriptions of some material pertaining to seminal revolutionaries, including Patrick Pearse, Bulmer Hobson and Joseph McGarrity, occasionally suffered from the use of generic catalogue descriptions that had a propensity to obscure the existence, value and scope of the material itself. Under the supervision of Colette O’Flaherty, head of the Manuscripts Department, a team of historians from Notre Dame University, supported by the expertise of the NLI’s dedicated staff, are creating revised catalogues which will make seminal material pertaining to the independence struggle more accessible to the public.

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