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New Collections from the Library of Trinity College Dublin on DRI

12 October 2021

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Library recently published new collections on the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) that are available for sustained access to researchers and members of the public.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Library recently published new collections on the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) – Papers of Micheal DavittJ.D. White CollectionPapers of John Millington Synge, the Oscar Wilde Collection; the Hardiman Atlas; and the Papers of Major Richard William George Hingston

The Papers of Michael Davitt is a collection of photographs, notebooks and diaries, personal papers, autobiographical writings, and letters and pamphlets created by, for, or about, the great Irish republican and nationalist agitator Michael Davitt (1846-1906). Davitt was a social campaigner, labour leader, journalist, Home Rule constitutional politician, and member of parliament who founded the Irish National Land League. The Davitt papers, originally collected by Davitt’s widow, Mary, were in the hands of Davitt’s biographer T.W. Moody, professor of Modern History in TCD, and were arranged, numbered, and listed by him. Additional listing was performed by staff in the Library of TCD. The papers were deposited in the Library in parts on 31 March 1978 and 20 August 1980, and were presented to the Library by Davitt's son, Judge Cahir Davitt (in May and June 1982 with some later additions in January 1983). A selection of digitised material from the collection is now available to researchers and members of the public for sustained access in the DRI Repository 

John Davis White (1820-1893) was a historian, collector, and proprietor and editor of the Cashel Gazette newspaper (founded in 1894). He is remembered for having made ‘an enormous contribution to the cultural, religious and practical life of the town’ of Cashel (1). Interested in printing, from 1844 to 1883 he compiled a collection of broadside ballad sheets, eventually numbering 1,500, which he bequeathed to the Library of TCD (2). The J.D. White collection comprises more than 900 popular slip ballads from White’s collection, printed in Dublin, Cork, and Johnstown, mainly in the 1850s and 1860s, that refer to contemporary events including the Crimean War, crime and politics, and emigration. The ballads were digitised by the Library of TCD in 2011 and are now available for long-term access on the DRI

John Millington Synge (1871-1909) was an Irish playwright, poet, writer, collector of folklore, and a key figure in the Irish Literary Revival. Heralded by W.B. Yeats as ‘the greatest dramatic genius of Ireland’ (3), Synge's writings have been vastly influential on playwrights and writers from George Fitzmaurice, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Marina Carr, and Martin McDonagh (4). After Synge’s death in 1909, all of his papers were inherited by his nephew and literary executor Edward M. Stephens. They were purchased by the Library of TCD in 1969 from Stephens’ widow, Lily M. Stephens, who also donated to the Library many other manuscripts of related interest, including letters which Synge had written to his fiancée Molly Allgood. The Papers of John Millington Synge collection is a significant resource for students of literature and includes literary drafts, correspondence, research notebooks, diaries, and juvenilia. It can be accessed on DRI 

The Oscar Wilde Collection is also now available for sustained access in DRI. Oscar Wilde was an Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and critic. He is regarded as one of the great playwrights of the Victorian Era. In his lifetime he wrote nine plays, one novel, numerous poems, short stories and essays. The deposited collection includes manuscript and print materials; autographed first editions; letters; and much more. These important digital objects can be accessed in the Repository:

IE TCD MS 1209, known collectively as the 'Hardiman atlas', is the collection of maps held in the Library of Trinity College Dublin and made by George Carew (1555-1629) at the beginning of the 17th century. Comprising nearly 90 maps and plans and one of the largest sets of original Tudor and early Stuart maps of Ireland surviving anywhere, the collection has been published in DRI

Finally, the Papers of Major Richard William George Hingston (1887-1966) have been deposited. Major Richard William George Hingston was educated at Merchant Taylor’s School then near London, and in University College Cork; he graduated as a medical doctor and entered the Indian Medical Service in 1910. During the First World War he served in the British Indian Army in East Africa, Mesopotamia and France. He was awarded the Military Cross and was twice mentioned in despatches. He was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1922 and had a long career as a member of expeditions to many parts of the world. The collection includes his journal of the 1913 expedition to the Pamirs; of the 1924 Everest expedition; of the 1928 Oxford University Expedition to Greenland; of the 1930 Mission to Africa on behalf of the Society for the Preservation of the Empire Fauna

Jennifer Doyle, the digital content creation manager at the Library of TCD, commented on the significance of the newly published collections:

We are delighted to be able to open up and share with a wide audience a number of important digitised collections through the DRI's platform. The special nature of these collections, some of which are unique and distinct like the Papers of Michael Davitt and John Millington Synge, make them extremely valuable primary source material not only for academic research and beyond, but for general interest as well, informing as they do our past, present, and future’.

DRI is pleased to be able to preserve these important cultural collections from the Library of TCD for long-term access. Explore more collections from the Library of TCD here. Keep an eye on our Twitter account for further publication announcements. 

Image: Fontaine, Marie. Neilson’s secret for the complexion trade card. IE TCD MS 11437/5/1/17, Digital Repository of Ireland [Distributor], Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin [Depositing Institution],


  1. Society, County Tipperary Historical. 1994. "John Davis White of Cashel (1820-1893)." County Tipperary Historical Journal 97-104.[pp%2097-104]%20Denis%20G.%20Marnane.pdf.
  2. Williams, Fionnuala Carson. 2009. "White, John Davis." Dictionary of Irish Biography. Oct. Accessed Sept 2021.
  3. Johnston, Denis. 1965. John Singleton Synge (Columbia Essays on Modern Writers Series, #12). New York: Columbia University Press.
  4. Kiberd, Declan. 2009. "Synge, (Edmund) John Millington." Dictionary of Irish Biography. Oct. Accessed Sept 2021.


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