Irish Literature

The University of Cincinnati Archives & Rare Books Library has an extensive Irish literature collection from the 16th century to the present, with strong representations of the Irish Literary Revival, the Enlightenment, Irish drama, and later 20th century authors. The ARB Library has extensive holdings of publications from the Cuala Press, and other major collections include William J. Lawrence, Lady Gregory, James Joyce, George Moore, George Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Beckett, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Laurence Sterne, among others.

William J. Lawrence Notebooks

The Lawrence Collection consists of 99 handwritten notebooks containing his research on the Irish stage from 1630 to 1911. For his sources, Lawrence sought out copies of the Dublin daily newspapers, parish registers, the collections of Trinity College, and the Public Records Office—any slight bit of information that he could gather to illuminate the world of the theater. The notebooks are like those of a schoolboy’s small, lined essay books, with Lawrence’s careful handwriting supplemented by tipped-in news clippings, images of actors taken from programs and pamphlets, and the occasional typed transcription of a play. His attention to detail was remarkable; there are not only day-by-day notes on the theaters and their productions, but lists of actors, ticket prices, and management concerns as well. In many cases, he also provided insights on the personal lives of the players. For an 1865 performance by G. V. Brooke in Othello, for example, Lawrence noted that the actor “appeared as Iago . . . I say ‘appeared’ advisedly, since he was much too intoxicated to play the part.” What Lawrence compiled offers a vibrant, cogent look at the cultural life of Dublin.

The Archives & Rare Books Library of the University of Cincinnati has these journals in its holdings.  If you would like to view these journals for your own research or interest, please contact ARB and we can set up a meeting.