20th Annual Gilbert Lecture

20th Annual Gilbert Lecture ‘Gentlemen’s daughters in Dublin cloisters’

Hosted by Dublin City Council Public Libraries

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Rebecca Moynihan will open the 20th annual Sir John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture at 6pm, on Wednesday 25th January 2017, in Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

The 2017 lecture will be given by Dr Bernadette Cunningham from the Royal Irish Academy Library, an expert on 17th- and early 18th-century Ireland. Her talk is entitled, ‘Gentlemen’s daughters in Dublin cloisters: the social world of nuns in early 18th-century Dublin’.

According to Deputy Lord Mayor Rebecca Moynihan, “I am delighted to be chairing this year’s Gilbert lecture which promises to be a very informative event.  I commend Dublin City Public Libraries for their commitment to the series which is a valuable    resource for motivation and inspiration for all.” 

At this event, the hard copy publication of the 19th Gilbert lecture by Pádraig Yeates titled, ‘Rioters, looters, lady patrols and mutineers’, will also be launched.  Pádraig’s lecture is about 1916 and subsequent years, using the newly discovered Prisoners’ Books from the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP).

The Gilbert series of lectures were inaugurated in 1998, which was the centenary of Gilbert’s death. John Gilbert’s extensive library of books and manuscripts forms the core of Dublin City Library and Archive local studies collection and it has many unique and rare items.


For further information contact:

Notes to the Editor:

Each year’s lecture is recorded and podcasts are available on the Dublin City Council website: http://www.dublincity.ie/story/19th-annual-sir-john-t-gilbert-lecture

The printed catalogue of the books and manuscripts of the Gilbert collection compiled by Douglas Hyde, LL.D & D.J. O'Donoghue is available for consultation in the Reading Room. View John T. Gilbert in the library online catalogue.

Sir John T. Gilbert (1829 – 1898) Historian, archivist and librarian.

John Thomas Gilbert was born in Dublin on 23 January 1829, and died there on 23 May 1898. Author of the influential three volume A history of the city of Dublin, published in 1854–59, he was a firm advocate of documenting the history of his native city using primary sources. His work on manuscripts relating to the city alerted him to the need for the preservation of Irish public records, many of which were in a neglected and vulnerable condition. He commenced a campaign which eventually led to the setting up of the Public Record Office in the Four Courts. He calendared the records of Dublin Corporation, which date from the twelfth century, and began the series of printed volumes Calendar of ancient records of Dublin. As an inspector for the Historical Manuscripts Commission, he examined the holdings in many of Ireland’s great houses and municipal councils. He prepared for the press and supervised the printing of Facsimiles of the national manuscripts of Ireland and Historic and municipal documents of Ireland A.D. 1172–1320, the latter was published as a volume in the Master of the Rolls series. Gilbert received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list of 1897.

His very valuable library of books and manuscripts relating to Dublin and Ireland was purchased by the then Dublin Corporation after his death and forms the nucleus of the special collections of Dublin City Public Libraries. In 1980, Dublin Corporation established the City Archives to provide for public access to its municipal records. Today, Dublin City Public Libraries continues Gilbert’s work of documenting the history of Dublin through the City Library service and the City Archives.