James Hardiman Library

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James Hardiman Library
James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, new extension 01.JPG
Photo of new entrance after 2013 extension
TypeAcademic library
LocationNUI Galway
Access and use
Access requirementsRegistered students and all staff of the University are entitled to use the Library. Graduates of NUI Galway, students from other Universities and members of the public requiring access for genuine research purposes or scholarly needs may apply to use the James Hardiman Library.

The James Hardiman Library (Irish: Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin) serves the University of Galway in Ireland. It is a legal deposit or "copyright library", which means that publishers in the country must deposit a copy of all their publications there, free of charge. The James Hardiman Library is home to an extensive range of cultural artefacts, particularly relating to the history of theatre. This includes the largest digital theatre archive in the world, a joint project with The Abbey, Ireland's national theatre, to preserve material that institution has compiled since its foundation. Other theatre archives found at the James Hardiman Library include those of the Gate Theatre, An Taibhdhearc (the national Irish language theatre), the Lyric Theatre and the Druid Theatre Company (Ireland's first professional theatre company established outside Dublin). In addition, manuscripts collected by Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland, are deposited at the James Hardiman Library, as is a manuscript personally donated by James Joyce in 1932.

"Access to Research at NUI Galway" (ARAN) is the University's repository of research publications, including peer-reviewed articles, working papers and conference papers by the University's researchers, and is maintained by the James Hardiman Library.[1]


The James Hardiman Library is situated centrally, close to the Concourse, the Arts Millennium Building and Áras na Gaeilge.


The Library is named in honour of James Hardiman who was the University's first Librarian.

Legal deposit library status[edit]

According to the Ireland's Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, the James Hardiman Library is entitled, along with the National Library of Ireland, the British Library and Trinity College Library, as well as libraries at UCC, UCD, MU, UL, and DCU, to receive a copy of all works published in the Republic of Ireland. Section 198(1) of the Act states "the publisher of any book published in the state, shall, within one month after publication, deliver, at his or her own expense, a copy of the book to each of the following…", then lists the libraries concerned.[2]


The James Hardiman Library houses more than three hundred archival collections which range from the fifteenth century onwards.[3] Numerous archives relating to literature, theatre and other items of cultural merit to be found there include the following:



  • Douglas Hyde's manuscript collections of poetry and folklore he gathered[3]
  • An original edition of Pomes Penyeach, personally donated by James Joyce in 1932 after its publication in Paris, and printed on rare Japanese paper complete with illustrations by the writer's daughter Lucia.[5]
  • The John McGahern Archive (John McGahern)[6]
  • The Thomas Kilroy Collection (Thomas Kilroy): Available from August 2011,[7] this archive includes Kilroy's academic criticism, papers relating to his board membership of The Field Day Theatre Company and his collaboration with The Abbey Theatre, as well as notes, drafts, scripts, and production material relating to all of Kilroy's plays. Correspondence featured includes from the Seamuses: Deane and Heaney; Mary Lavin, John McGahern, various agents, publishers, theatre practitioners and the general public. On 22 March 2011, a public interview with Kilroy, moderated by Professor Adrian Frazier (with an introduction by Doctor Lionel Pilkington), was held at NUI Galway to mark the donation; amongst those in attendance were Brian Friel and Michael D. Higgins.[8]
  • Máirtín Ó Direáin[4]
  • The literary papers of Eoghan Ó Tuairisc[3]




Constituent buildings[edit]

According to an internal newsletter from February 2009, the James Hardiman Library at that time spanned four floors and housed 424,843 books and 1,645 study spaces.[17]

The new Nursing & Midwifery Library opened in June 2009. It spans three floors and can be accessed via the James Hardiman Library.[18][19] The University's Nursing Library had previously been located in Dangan.


  1. ^ "Welcome to ARAN". Archived from the original on 4 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Legal Deposit (Copyright Libraries)". Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Archive Resources". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b "University news: Gate Theatre Archives". Cois Coiribe. Autumn 2016. p. 10. In other archival news, in May 2016, NUI Galway announced receipt of a significant donation of books about the Williamite Wars (1689-91) in Ireland and its aftermath, from Colman Morrissey, son of a graduate of the university, Meanwhile, a collection of artefacts relating to the life and work of Irish language poet, Máirtín Ó Direáin, was also generously given to the University in June 2016.
  5. ^ "NUI Galway Archives brings you Culture Night 2012". 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Langan, Sheila (21 January 2011). "John Huston Archive at NUI Galway". Irish Central. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Thomas Kilroy Collection". 29 November 2011. The collection is being processed and will be available to researchers from August 2011.
  8. ^ "Thomas Kilroy Collection". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e "NUI Galway Theatre Archives". Archived from the original on 15 August 2014.
  10. ^ Maher, Eamon (20 August 2013). "Revisiting Walter Macken's Connemara". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Perhaps the archive of An Taidhbhearc theatre at the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway may draw attention to the seminal work he carried out at this important artistic venue.
  11. ^ "NUI Galway & Abbey Theatre Digital Archive". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  12. ^ Siggins, Lorna (1 May 2014). "Digitised Abbey Theatre archive exhibition due to open at NUI Galway". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Gate Theatre Digitisation Project". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Launch of the John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy Archive". Archived from the original on 14 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Brendan Duddy Archive opened at NUI Galway". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  16. ^ Siggins, Lorna (23 November 2011). "Archive reveals peace contact's role". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  17. ^ "inform: James Hardiman Library Newsletter, February 2009". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Nursing and Midwifery Library". James Hardiman Library. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Floor plan". Nursing & Midwifery Library. Retrieved 20 December 2018.

External links[edit]