During the month of June I spent 2 days researching at the Royal Irish Academy Library (RIA), which is located at Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. With Grafton Street, Trinity College and several busy cafés located close-by, the RIA Library provides a research haven in the heart of Dublin city. The unique reading room, which dates from the early 1850s, seats 10 readers. As suggested in previous posts, it’s best to make contact with a librarian by email in advance of your visit to help ensure you can access all the material you require. A reader’s ticket costs €15 and information about visiting the library is available online (see the link below). Bags and coats are not allowed in the reading room, lockers for storing personal belongings are available and are located downstairs. The library staff are very friendly and helpful and wifi is available onsite.
I examined and catalogued ten music sources of relevance to ERIN; eight nineteenth-century editions of the Irish Melodies and two nineteenth-century editions of the National Airs. These sources were donated to, or purchased by, the library. Several volumes bear the name(s) of former owners and all volumes are beautifully bound and in very good condition.
Since its foundation in 1785 The Royal Irish Academy has had many distinguished honorary members including Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Thomas Moore. Moore’s association with the Academy dates back to 1846 when he was made an honorary member. A number of tributes to the poet-songwriter are displayed in Academy House including a portrait and bust of the poet, both of which are displayed in the Council Room, located on the right as you enter the building. Also stored in the Council Room are the contents of Moore’s Library; access may be limited so check in advance that you can access material on the day you plan to visit. My next blogpost will provide an overview of Moore’s Library and some of its contents.