RIA Membership Certificates, 1785 – 1920
The Academy Library holds a collection of Certificates of Candidate. These are forms recommending individuals for membership of the Academy. The forms contain information such as the candidate’s name, address, profession or qualification for membership, the signatures of those members who acted as proposers and date of election.
There are few extant certificates for the early years of the Academy and the collection is not comprehensive. However, the information contained in the extant certificates can inform us about the composition of the membership over time and can yield other data, e.g. who were the proposers, were some members more active than others in proposing candidates for election? What were their affiliations? Who were the movers and shakers? Can the certificates provide us with information about antiquarian or scientific networks?
The Library has now completed Phase 1 of a project to catalogue and digitise certificates for the years 1785-1920. The certificate records and digital images may be found on the Manuscripts Catalogue
How to search for a Member's Cert
We have simultaneously updated Membership records for all members elected 1785-1920, regardless of whether there are certificates for these members. The records now contain links to the Dictionary of Irish biography and images of members, depending on availability. The Membership database is an internal one but we are examining ways to make the earlier records available online and to present a content-rich resource which will be fully searchable and accessible to all.
Phase 2 of the project, 1921-1960 is now in hands.
The project contributors are: Bernadette Cunningham (advisor); Konstantin Ermolin (cataloguing and verification of records) and Dave McKeon (photography and scanning), assisted by Sinéad Noonan. The project is managed by Amy Hughes, Assistant Librarian.
This page will be updated on an ongoing basis.
Siobhán Fitzpatrick, Librarian