American Irish Historical Society

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American Irish Historical Society at 991 Fifth Avenue

The American Irish Historical Society (AIHS) is a historical society devoted to Irish American history, founded in Boston in the late 19th century. In continuous operation since 1897, the Society has been non-partisan and non-sectarian since its inception. The Society was founded as a response to the establishment of the Scotch-Irish Society which was founded in 1889.[1]

AIHS was relocated to New York City in 1904 by T. H. Murray, then serving as Society's Secretary-General.[2] Perhaps the most notable member of AIHS at the time was President Theodore Roosevelt. The Society's formal purpose is: "to place permanently on record the story of the Irish in America from the earliest settlement to the present day, justly, impartially, fully, and sympathetically correcting neglect and misrepresentation by certain historians of the part taken in the founding, upbuilding and safeguarding of the Nation by persons of Irish birth and descent." Notable members through the years have included politician William Bourke Cockran, tenor John McCormack, New York Governor Hugh Carey, and performer/composer George M. Cohan. In 1940, the Society moved to a Beaux-Arts townhouse on Fifth Avenue in New York City, which it still occupies.

The society headquarters is at 991 Fifth Avenue, opposite the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[3]

The Society hosts cultural and historical events, publishes a journal entitled The Recorder, and annually awards a Gold Medal to an Irish-American or Irish-national of significant accomplishment. Past honorees have included Bono, George J. Mitchell, Mary Higgins Clark, Wilbur Ross, Michael J. Dowling and Robert McCann.

During the holiday season of 2016, AIHS was home to the Irish Repertory Theatre's production of “The Dead, 1904”. The show was an adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead, by novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz and her husband, Irish poet, Paul Muldoon.


  1. ^ Casey, Marion; Lee, J. J. (2007-03-01). Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814752180. 
  2. ^ Appel, John J. (1960-01-01). "The New England Origins of the American Irish Historical Society". The New England Quarterly. 33 (4): 462–475. doi:10.2307/362675. 
  3. ^ "American Irish Historical Society". American Irish Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 

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