School of History and Archives (University College Dublin)

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The School of History and Archives (Scoil na Staire agus na Cartlannaíochta) at University College Dublin is one of the major centres in Ireland for the study of history.

It was founded in 2005 by combining the School of History, which had been present since the foundation of the University in 1854, with the Archives department which had been in existence since 1971.

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.

University College Dublin Archives[edit]

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).

History in University College Dublin today[edit]

Following in the footsteps of the Eoin MacNeill, the School of History and Archives has some notable scholars amongst its staff. These staff include Professor Edward James (medieval history), Dr. Judith Devlin (19thC France, 20thC Russia), Dr. Declan Downey (early modern Europe and Asian studies), Professor Diarmaid Ferriter (Modern Irish history), Dr. Sandy Wilkinson (early modern Europe) and Professor Robert Gerwarth (Modern European History). John McCafferty also holds the position of the head of school. The school also awards a number of annual chairs for visiting lecturers. In 2011/12, Professor Douglas Egerton held the Mary Ball Washington Chair for American history, while Mark McKenna and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart held the Keith Cameron Chair for Australian history.

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[edit]

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.


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