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Digitised Archives

The James Hardiman Library is committed to making material from its archival and printed collections available online.  Digitisation opens up access to these valuable resources and allows them to be used and enjoyed by all.

A number of our archival collections have been digitised and are available online, please see below.  For further queries on access to digital copies of material from our collections please contact the Archivist, Kieran Hoare.

Theatre/Film Collections Historical Collections  Local Interest

On-line Guide to Archival Collections

‌An on-line guide to our archival collections which includes images of selected items an commentary provide by Academic staff.  Includes material from 12 collections including the John McGahern Collection, the Druid Theatre Collection and the Michael Cusack Collection.  The collections in the guide are organised into three thematic areas: 'Literary collections', 'Theatre, film and performing arts collections' and 'Historical and political collections'.


Theatre/Film Collections


Abbey Theatre Digital Archive

1976 Sorcha Cusack & Siobhan McKenna in The Plough and the Stars NUI Galway is digitizing the archive of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland’s national theatre, as a result of a partnership between the two organisations to preserve and widen access to a major cultural heritage collection. This is the largest ever theatre archive digitization project worldwide and the digital archive will contain over a million pages when completed.



Shields Family Archive On-line Exhibition

‎Selected material from the Shields Family Archive.  Arthur Shields and his brother Barry Fitzgerald (real name Will Shields) were both actors in several Abby Theatre productions in the 1920s and 1930s.  Arthur Shields also managed four Abby theatre tours of the United states during the 1930s.  Both moved to Hollywood during World War Two where Barry Fitzgerald in particular achieve great acclaim winning an Oscar in 1945 for his role along side in Bing Cosby in Going My Way.

Huston Family Collection On-line Exhibition at NUI Galway

‌Centred on John Huston's last film The Dead, his 1987 adaptation of James Joyce's short story, this wide-ranging and eclectic collection offers a prolific intersection of Irish literature and American cinema. The multiple draft scripts of the film offer insights about the film and the director's wide-ranging oeuvre.


Historical Collections


 Brendan Duddy Archive - On-line Exhibition

‎The selected documents are taken from the three main periods during which Brendan Duddy secretly acted as an intermediary between the British government and the IRA. The first was in the early and mid 1970s when Duddy acted as intermediary during a series of contacts over the release of hostages and the ending of hunger strikes. In 1980 and 1981 Duddy acted again as intermediary during the Republican hunger strikes. Between 1990 and 1993 Duddy was again active at this intersection after a new Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Sir Peter Brooke, made the decision to try to incorporate the Provisionals in a political settlement, an effort continued by his successor Sir Patrick Mayhew. The selected documents highlight the secrecy and tension involved in this communication and negotiation and add significantly to our understanding of this crucial interface between the British state and the IRA.

Papers of Michael Cusack On-line Exhibition

‌Among the most important historical items made available as part of this exhibition are the complete minutes of the Dublin Hurling Club, from 1883. Cusack was Vice-President of the club, a predecessor to the national organisation founded the following year. In addition, there is a diary kept by Cusack on a visit to his native Clare in 1902.

Ritchie-Pickow Collection‌

‎The James Hardiman Library, with the support of the Heritage Council of Ireland, has provided digital access to over 2000 images taken by George Pickow during a visit to Ireland in 1952-53. Themes include traditional Irish music, crafts, traditional sports, the Aran Islands, Dublin and Dublin Airport.

 Irish Script on Screen

Thumb for Script to screen‎The Library took part in a project to digitise a number of our Irish language manuscripts from Lamhscribhinní de hÍde and Lamhscribhinní Breise. The manuscripts date from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, and consist of medical, historical and literary manuscripts.

Local Interest


Historic University Calendars

‌Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Galway, the Historic Calendar project provides a truly unique insight into the history, development and achievements of Galway's university, as well as full graduate lists of its alumni. This project provides digital access to the calendars from 1851, 1888, 1894 to 1934 and tracks the movement of the University from Queen's College to University College Galway to its present identity of National University of Ireland, Galway.

17th Century Pictorial Map of Galway City ‎

Thumb for 17th century map‎‎‎‎‎This map which dates from the mid-17th century is a bird's eye view of a town surrounded on three sides by water, the River Corrib in the foreground, its tributaries, and the sea. Two known copies of the original map exist, one in the Library of Trinity ‎College Dublin, and the second in the archives of the Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. This new digitised version of the map is based on the Hardiman Library copy. Dr. Pádraig Lenihan, lecturer in History at NUI Galway, notes that 'it is the most accurate and, indeed, most beautiful map of an Irish urban space before John Roque's 1756 map of Georgian Dublin.

The Balfour Album

Thumb Nail for Balfour‎The Balfour Album of photographs was compiled by the Belfast photographer Robert Welsh between 1893 and 1895. It was presented to the former Chief Secretary, Arthur J. Balfour, in the summer of 1896 in recognition for his support for the Galway to Clifden Railway.


Galway Cathedral

 Galway Cathedral‎Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas Galway: A history and description, by Most Rev. Michael Browne, Bishop of Galway


Galway Cathedral‎The New Cathedral of Galway, its origin, purpose and description: an explanatory booklet by the Bishop of Galway.


 Memorial Atlas of Ireland (1901)

Memorial Atlas Of Ireland‌Published by L.J. Richards & Company of Philadelphia, the Memorial Atlas of Ireland is a rare resource for researchers of Ireland at the turn of the 20th century, in that it presents in clear detail the boundaries of each barony and civil parish in the country--something not usually of focus in maps from the era.

Kieran Hoare

Hoare, Kieran

Tel: +353 91493636

This is a photo of Barry Houlihan

Houlihan, Barry

Tel: +353 91493353

Keane, Aisling

Digital Archivist
Tel: +353 91494486