Conradh na Gaeilge archive catalogued and launched by NUI Galway

The archive of Ireland’s oldest Irish language organisation, Conradh na Gaeilge, has been catalogued and launched by NUI Galway.

Following discussions instigated and led by Dr John Walsh in 2018, the University’s Library became the custodian of the archives.

The archives consisted of more than 600 boxes of material and over 600,000 pages, making it one of the largest collections ever deposited with NUI Galway.

The documents cover more than a century of the organisation’s existence, campaigning, and achievements and offers an unparalleled insight into linguistic, cultural, social and political aspects of Irish history.

Catalogued by archivist Niamh Ní Charra, the Conradh na Gaeilge Archive at NUI Galway gives researchers, students, and the public unique access to primary sources about the development of Irish language policy.

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said that now that the arcive has been catalougued by the university it will be “widely available for use” and a “significant resource for teaching and researching”.

“Our university is committed to the Irish language through our Straitéis don Ghaeilge. We are here for the public good and to sustain the communities which we serve,” he said.

Every decade, from the founding of Conradh na Gaeilge in 1893, to the deposition of the collection with NUI Galway in 2018, is represented within the archive.

The archive includes material relating to music, sport, drama, religion, politics, and events such as the annual Seachtain na Gaeilge campaign and Oireachtas competitions.

It also features the Timirí reports, which provide detailed information on the changes in Irish society during the 1960s and 1970s.

Dr John Walsh, Associate Professor of Irish at NUI Galway, and leader of the acquisition of the archive, said that the collection is a “very valuable resource” for researchers.

“It illustrates Conradh na Gaeilge’s pioneering work in various areas, for instance the campaigns for radio and television services, all-Irish schools, a democratic Gaeltacht authority, the status of Irish in the EU and language rights on both sides of the border.”

The archive is open for consultation by researchers in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room of the NUI Galway Library.

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