University College Dublin Archives, Dublin, Ireland

University College Dublin Archives curates the university’s archives; private paper collections documenting the modern Irish State; and many elements of the Franciscan manuscript patrimony. The School of History (Scoil na Staire) at University College Dublin is one of the major centres in Ireland for the study of history. The School of History was established at the foundation of the University in 1854.

One of department’s most important figures was Eoin MacNeill, who held the Professorship of Early Irish (including medieval) history from 1909 to 1916 and from 1918 to 1942. MacNeill was also one of the leading figures in shaping the new Irish state, serving as Minister for Education between 1922 and 1925.

The University College Dublin Archives department was originally set up in 1971 by Robert Dudley Edwards, Professor of Modern Irish History from 1944 to 1979, and formalised as the University Archives Service in 1997. Its core function is the curatorship of the archives of the university and its predecessors, along with outstanding collections of private papers and institutional archives which document the foundation and development of modern Ireland.

Collections are acquired from institutions and bodies within the university and from external sources. Its collections policy is centered on a core of political private papers, including those of figures such as Éamon de Valera, John A. Costello, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, Conor Cruise O’Brien and Terence MacSwiney, political parties such as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, administrators such as T. K. Whitaker, as well as figures from the arts world including poet Denis Devlin and actor Dan O’Herlihy.

In addition to curation of collections, the School provides the only recognized course in Ireland for the training of professional archivists: the MA in Archives and Records Management is accredited by the Society of Archivists (UK and Ireland).

Following in the footsteps of the Eoin MacNeill, the School of History has some notable scholars amongst its staff, including: Professor Diarmaid Ferriter (Modern Irish History), Professor Robert Gerwarth (Modern European History), Dr Judith Devlin (19thC France, 20thC Russia), Dr Declan Downey (early modern Europe and Asian studies), and Professor Sandy Wilkinson (early modern European history). Professor Tadhg O’Hannrachain currently holds the position of Head of school. The school also awards a number of annual chairs for visiting lecturers.

The school comprises approximately 1,200 students. 1,000 of these are taught at undergraduate level, the remainder are postgraduate students. The school is responsible for history programs at the BA, MA, MLitt and Ph.D level. Many graduates have gone on to take up research places at other top universities across the globe. Prominent University College Dublin history graduates in Irish society today include journalist Kevin Myers, broadcaster Philip Boucher-Hayes, entrepreneur Denis O’Brien, TV personality Ryan Tubridy and bestseller Maeve Binchy.

The History Review is an academic journal produced in the School of History and Archives at University College Dublin. Although it has had a mixed history of varying standards and content, the journal is experiencing something of a transformation as of the spring of 2005.

The History Review claims to be the leading student journal in Western Europe. While it was initially a means to an end for history postgraduates to publish their work in a local academic context, the journal is now an international platform for research and opinion on international relations, history, politics and current affairs.

Special contributors have included John Major, Zbigniew Brzezinski and F.W. de Klerk.