Published: April 2, 2002
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. – The John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College has announced the acquisition of three significant archives of material for its Irish Collection, which is already considered to be the premier, most comprehensive repository of Irish research materials in the United States.
New acquisitions include a major George Bernard Shaw collection, a trove of correspondence by playwright Samuel Beckett and a massive archive related to one of Northern Ireland’s leading photojournalists.
The George Bernard Shaw Collection comprises more than 3,400 rdf_Descriptions related to the Anglo-Irish comic dramatist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), winner of the 1925 Nobel Prize for literature, and regarded among the greatest playwrights of the modern era for such works as Major Barbara, Pygmalion and Saint Joan.
Amassed by private collector Samuel Friedman, the materials include manuscripts, letters, autographed books, photographs, etchings and paintings.
The Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Negative Archive contains more than 11,000 photographic negatives by prominent Irish photojournalist Bobbie Hanvey (born 1945) of County Down that document the major political and cultural figures and events throughout “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland over the past 30 years.
Included are more than 700 photos of poet Seamus Heaney (born 1939), 1995 Nobel Laureate in Literature. Among the arresting images are portraits of politicians and playwrights, photos of Unionist firebrand Rev Ian Paisley haranguing a crowd and shots of average people, from soldiers to chimney sweeps.
The Samuel Beckett – Robert Pinget Collection consists of correspondence in French between Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) — winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and noted for works such as Waiting for Godot — and Swiss-born French novelist and playwright Robert Pinget (1919-97).
The collection contains some 80 letters written by the two friends over a 30-year period.
The library has also acquired an additional letter from Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats, a letter from Irish playwright and novelist Brendan Behan and a collection of posters and ephemera on The Troubles.
The print materials of the Irish Collection alone include tens of thousands of books, periodicals, pamphlets, original manuscripts, correspondence and other memorabilia. The collection contains thousands of volumes, manuscripts and pamphlets relating to Irish history and literature, including rdf_Descriptions relating to the Catholic Emancipation of 1795-1840 and the incorporation of Ireland into the UK at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century.
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