Guide to the Pádraig Ó Concheanainn Collection

MSE/IR 1083

 

Collection Summary

Title: Pádraig Ó Concheanainn Collection
Dates: ca. 1928-1972
Collection No.: MSE/IR 1083
Extent: 240 items; 105 folders;1 linear foot.
Language: Collection material in Irish.
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A collection of the papers of Pádraig Ó Concheanainn, including letters on Irish language publications and family papers.

Selected Search Terms

Irish language publishing
Publishers and publishing -- Ireland -- History -- 20th century
Mac Amhlaigh, Dónall, 1926-1989
Ó Concheanainn, Pádraig, c.1907-1988
Ó Concheanainn, Tomàs Bán, 1870-1961

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Pádraig Ó Concheanainn Collection, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Pádraig Ó Concheanainn Collection was purchased at Mealy's Auction, December 2016. Arranged and described 2017, by Aedín Clements and Sam McGinty. Finding aid 2017, by Aedín Clements.

Biographical Note

Pádraig Ó Concheanainn (C.1907-88) grew up on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. A native Irish speaker, he became a teacher and married and settled in Dublin where, in addition to teaching, he worked as a news reader for the Irish language news on Raidió Éireann. He served as secretary of Irish-language publisher An Clóchomhar. A letter in this collection written in 1959 describes him as a member of the committee of An Clóchomhar and assistant secretary for the book division. The Hesburgh Library is indebted to Dr. Deirdre Ní Chonghaile for biographical details on the Ó Concheanainn family.

Tomás Ó Concheanainn (Tomás Bán), born on the Aran Islands in 1870, was an uncle of Pádraig Ó Concheanainn. He emigrated to America at seventeen and spent time in Boston, then in Livermore, California where his step-brother James Concannon had a vineyard. He travelled extensively in America, and became interested in Irish language and literature while living in America.

In 1898 he returned to Ireland and was employed by the Gaelic League as the first Timire for the Gaeltacht. A Timire was a travelling Irish language teacher and Gaelic League representative, and he was instrumental in Douglas Hyde's visit to the U.S. in 1905. He later married, took a postion in the civil service, and settled in Galway where he continued to work for the Irish language. He died in 1961.

Dónall Mac Amhlaigh (1926-89) grew up in Limerick, Galway and Kilkenny, leaving school at sixteen. After three years in the army, he left for England in 1951 and found employment as a laborer on road construction and on infrastructure projects. He began to write essays and short stories which were published in Irish language periodicals, and his first book, Dialann Deoraí, based on the life of an Irish laborer in England, was published by An Clóchomhar in 1960. He subsequently wrote five more books and many articles, short stories and essays which were published in Irish-language periodicals.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of six series: series 1, General Correspondence; series 2, letters from and relating to Dónall Mac Amhlaigh; series 3, typescripts and other papers relating to Dónall Mac Amhlaigh; series 4, organization and business papers; series 5, essays, notes and literary manuscripts; series 6, family papers.

Series 1, letters to Pádraig Ó Concheanainn or to members of An Clóchomhar, includes a number of personal letters, but the majority of the letters are of a business nature, concerning the publications of An Clóchomhar.

Series 2 and 3 concern Dónall Mac Amhlaigh. The earliest letters concern the projected publication of a book containing Mac Amhlaigh's stories based on his diary of an Irish laborer in England, and they also discuss other works and the translation to English of Dialann Deoraí. The letters span a period of thirteen years and in addition to discussing Mac Amhlaigh's writing and publishing, they include anecdotes about his family and himself.

Papers in Series 4 concern the business of Irish language and publishing organizations, and Series 5 consists of an assortment of drafts, typescripts and literary manuscripts by various authors. Within this collection are a some papers of or concerning Tomás Bán, and these have been placed, when identified, in Series 6 along with other papers of the Ó Concheanainn family.

An Clóchomhar was founded in 1954 initially as a printing and publishing cooperative to produce Irish language Christmas cards. By 1958 it had a book publishing committee, "Coiste na Leabhar" which became the most prominent aspect of An Clóchomhar. It became the foremost publisher of academic books in the Irish language. Connemara publisher Cló Iar-Chonnacht now owns the stock and rights of An Clóchomhar. Most of the correspondence in this collection, along with the papers in Series 4, are related to the work of An Clóchomhar.

Arrangement Note

The general correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondant. The letters of Dónall Mac Amhlaigh are arranged chronologically.

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