Irish Texts Society

Printer-friendly version

Volume 1, 1899: Giolla an Fhiugha or the Lad of the Ferule, & Eachtra Clainne Rí na hIorua or Adventures of the King of Norway, edited, with translation and notes by Douglas HydeThe Irish Texts Society was founded in London in 1898. The initiative to establish the Irish Texts Society came from another Irish organisation based in London, the Irish Literary Society (ILS), founded in 1892. According to the 1895-6 annual report of the ILS “preliminary steps have been taken to form an Irish Texts Society for the publication of modern Irish works”. As a result a provisional sub-committee was appointed to investigate the project. By May of 1897 the sub-committee was in a position to address questions of finance, membership of the projected Society, the identification of suitable texts for editing, the appointment of editors and of a publisher.

Image right: Volume 1, 1899: Giolla an Fhiugha or the Lad of the Ferule, & Eachtra Clainne Rí na hIorua or Adventures of the King of Norway, edited, with translation and notes by Douglas Hyde (click on image for larger version)

On the 26 April 1898, the inaugural general meeting of the Irish Texts Society was held at the rooms of the ILS in London. Douglas Hyde was unanimously elected president, and Frederick York Powell, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, was elected chairman of the executive council. Eight vice-presidents were elected and the consultative council included many of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Celtic studies. The Society’s first volume – Giolla an Fhiugha, edited by Douglas Hyde – appeared in the following year. The volumes cover an extraordinary diverse range of material, and in all cases the scholarly version of the text is accompanied by an English translation.

History of Ireland by Geoffrey KeatingImage right: History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating (book spine and title page)

There are 64 volumes published in the main series by the Society. Texts include 'Cath Maige Tuired' (the Second Battle of Mag Tuired), Geoffrey Keating’s 'Foras Feasa ar Éirinn' (History of Ireland), the poems of Dáibhí Ó Bruadair and Aogán Ó Raithille, and 'Cinn Lae Amhlaoibh Uí Shúilleabháin (Humphrey O’Sullivan’s Diary)'. One of the Society’s most famous publications is Dinneen’s Irish-English dictionary. It first appeared in 1904, an enlarged edition came out in 1927, and it was reprinted as recently as 1996. The catalogue of the Society represents a remarkable achievement, particularly as it’s the work of a voluntary body.

The above is an edited version of an article by Pádraigín Riggs in the journal 'History Ireland', Spring 1998, pp. 8-9.

The Dublin and Irish Collections are an important resource for local history studies. The library holds an extensive range of books relating to Dublin and Ireland, including volumes from the Irish Texts Society series.

Irish Text Society cover   Irish Text Society volumes

Comments

Do you have any idea where I could get a complete copy of Cinn Lae Amhlaoimh?

There's a copy off-site in Clare libraries but it's for library use only, Laoise. cbaicClare Offsite Store Irish Collection. Cinn-lae Amhlaoibh Ui Shuileabhain, Humphrey O'Sullivan's Diary. Pt. 4, Jan. 1834-Jul. 1835. Ed. M. MacCraith. In Irish & English. Tr. fr. Irish.

Add new comment

Feedback