James Hardiman

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James Hardiman (1782–1855), also known as Séamus Ó hArgadáin, was a librarian at Queen's College, Galway. The university library now bears his name. Hardiman is best remembered for his History of the Town and County of Galway (1820) and Irish Minstrelsy (1831), one of the first published collections of Irish poetry and songs.


Hardiman was born in Westport, County Mayo, in the west of Ireland around 1782. His father owned a small estate in County Mayo. He was trained as a lawyer and became sub-commissioner of public records in Dublin Castle. He was an active member of the Royal Irish Academy,[1] and collected and rescued many examples of Irish traditional music.

In 1855, shortly after its foundation, Hardiman became librarian of Queen's College, Galway.[1] The university library was later named in his honour.


  • The History of the Town and County of the Town of Galway. From the Earliest Period to the Present Time (Dublin: W. Folds & Sons, 1820); reprint Galway: Connacht Tribune Printing and Publishing Co., 1958; second impression (of reprint): same publisher, 1985. Online in English
  • Ancient Irish Deeds and Writing, Chiefly Relating to Landed Property, from the Twelfth to the Seventeenth Century (Dublin: Graisberry, 1828)
  • Irish Minstrelsy, or Bardic Remains of Ireland, with English Poetical Translations (London: J. Robins, 1831); reprint Shannon: Irish University Press, 1971; ISBN 0-7165-0333-6.


  1. ^ a b  Moore, Norman (1890). "Hardiman, James". In Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 24. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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