The Irish Manuscripts Commission
The Irish Manuscripts Commission (IMC) is approaching its 89th birthday. Founded as a public body in October 1928, IMC has sought to overcome the massive loss to the study of Ireland’s documentary record caused by the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland in the Four Courts in Dublin in 1922 by preserving in print, and latterly online, manuscript sources for Irish history and culture.
IMC’s remit is based on the principles of dissemination, preservation and promotion of original source materials, in public and private ownership.
Since 1930 the Commission has established a proud record of publication and it is recognised nationally and internationally as a publisher of primary sources prepared to the highest standard.
To date IMC has published over 200 volumes, mainly editions of original manuscripts, but including calendars and also facsimiles of early Irish codices. Its serial publication, Analecta Hibernica, is devoted to the publication of shorter manuscript sources and the 48th issue is about to go to press. Recent IMC publications include an edition of a previously unpublished manuscript of late eighteenth-century poetry by a rural Ulster female poet and a calendar of the state papers relating to Ireland from the reign of Henry VIII. As part of the decade of centenaries, in 2016 IMC published the memoir of Eoin MacNeill, founder of the Irish Volunteers in 1913, sometime politician and academic, and the first Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. Analecta Hibernica No. 47 (also published in 2016) was a thematic issue containing shorter never-before published primary documents relating to 1916 and its aftermath.
All out of print IMC publications are made available through the Digital Editions section of the IMC website (www.irishmanuscripts.ie). These are available for free to search online from anywhere in the world.
IMC continues to promote awareness of primary sources for history among the general public through events such as Culture Night and its biennial Eoin MacNeill Lecture, but also through its website and print advertising as well as social media.
The contact details for the Irish Manuscript Commission are available online at www.irishmanuscripts.ie.