Irish Studies Resources

Library Collections


The Hesburgh Libraries at Notre Dame have one of the most extensive Irish Studies collections in America. Though predominantly a book collection, its collections of manuscripts, print ephemera, media and digital resources have been developed intensively in the past ten years.

For over twenty years Irish Studies has been a collecting focus and strength of the Hesburgh Libraries, and so publications on all aspects of Irish life, culture and thought are collected. Extensive collections of contemporary scholarship and rare primary source material provide a rare opportunity for scholarship in Irish history and literature. The strong Irish language collection supports Irish language scholarship at all levels, and primary sources on Irish life, particularly on religion, politics and the arts, complement the collection of academic publications.

Among Hesburgh Special Collections are the personal library of Captain Francis O’Neill, the Vienken and Michael Foot Collections of Jonathan Swift and the collection of Edmund Burke’s bibliographer, William B. Todd. The Loeber Collection forms the basis for the Irish Fiction Collection, possibly the most wide-ranging Irish fiction collection in the world, and a further Loeber Collection of Irish periodicals was acquired in 2016. The Irish theatre collection includes twentieth century programs and scripts, and printed plays from earlier centuries.

Manuscript collections include the papers of writer Patrick McCabe, the archive of Arlen House Publishers, a collection of J. J. O’Kelly’s papers and a collection of Robert Lynd’s letters. For more information on Special Collections, see the Rare Books and Special Collectons website.

The University Archives also holds collections of interest to Irish studies. See the Archives website, for more information.

Libguides on Irish Studies resources include Ireland on Film, Irish Music and Irish News Sources. These provide an introduction to a variety of collections such as digital and microfilmed newspapers, the broadside ballad collection and the Radharc and Peter Heathwood collections on DVD.

Aedín Clements is the Irish Studies Librarian and Curator, and she and her colleagues are always interested in receiving inquiries, in guiding scholars in use of the collections, and in meeting with classes and groups.


R. C. Sweetman Reading Room

The R. C. Sweetman Reading Room provides books, CDs, instructional tapes, and Irish studies journals to faculty, fellows and students of Ireland at the University of Notre Dame. Its over 1000 volumes are organized by topic: Drama, Folklore, History and Politics, Literary Criticism, Music, Poetry, and Prose. The Reading Room receives The Irish Times, in addition to domestic newspapers.

As in past years, the experience of students and faculty alike has been significantly enhanced by the Richard C. Sweetman Family Fund. Everything we do starts with students. As the R. C. Sweetman Fund continues to grow, we look forward to be able to do even more for them.