Breadth, Depth & Variety
Who are in the Dictionary of Irish Biography (9 vols and online, 2009)?
In 9,014 entries, covering 9,700 lives, the first edition of the Dictionary of Irish Biography from the earliest times to the year 2002 outlined the careers at home and overseas of prominent men and women born in Ireland, north and south, and the noteworthy Irish careers of those born outside Ireland. Biographies range in length from 200 words to 14,000. The chronological scope of the Dictionary of Irish Biography extends from the earliest times. The living are not included. The online edition is update twice yearly. As of 1 February 2011 it has 9,087 entries, covering 9,824 lives
Breadth, depth and variety
Biographical subjects include artists, architects, scientists, lawyers, journalists, actors, musicians, composers, bankers, sports men and women, religious figures, pop stars, writers in Irish and English, engineers, criminals, public servants, politicians and philanthropists. If Ailbe, early sixth-century patron of Emly, is included, so too are Maureen O’Sullivan (1911–98), film actress, David Huddie (1916–98), Rolls-Royce engineer, Luke Wadding (1588–1657) Franciscan friar and historian, Christy Ring (1920–79), hurler, Thekla Beere (1901–91), civil servant, Hugh MacCurtin (c.1680–1755), poet, Louie Bennett (1870–1956), trade unionist, Seán Ó Riada (1931–71) composer, Frank O’Connor (1903–66), author, Arthur Guinness (1725–1803), brewer, Terence O’Neill (1914–90), politician, Roderick O’Flaherty (1629–1718), historiographer, Norah McGuinness (1903–80), painter, Paddy Brosnan (1917–95), Kerry footballer, Ernest Walton (1903–95), physicist and Nobel laureate, James Ussher (1581–1656), scholar and prelate, Paul O’Dwyer (1907–98), lawyer and political activist, and Danny Blanchflower (1925–93), soccer international
‘The Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography sets a standard and will be appreciated for its thoroughness and accessibility as a major reference resource. It provides comprehensive and authoritative biographical essays for Irish born subjects or those with significant careers in Ireland in a clear and accessible format. The Dictionary of Irish Biography incorporates the research of previous such efforts and presents signed entries enlivened with detail and quotations that offer intriguing reading as well as reference for further research. In Ireland and beyond, libraries, local history societies, museums, genealogical collections, and scholars will want it on their shelves’.
Lois More Overbeck, Emory University, Editor, The Letters of Samuel Beckett