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Windele Collection

The Windele papers are a mine of information for archaeologists, historians, antiquarian scholars, Irish language and music research and for information on 19th century antiquarian networks.

John Windele, 1801-65, was an antiquary who lived at Blair’s Hill, Cork. He was a member of the Cork Cuverian Society, the Cork Art Union, the Cork Archaeological Society, the South Munster Antiquarian Society, and the Kilkenny Archaeological Society. After his death, the Royal Irish Academy purchased Windele’s manuscripts. Including 24 volumes of notes on Irish history and antiquities, many with pen and ink sketches of antiquities, 11 volumes on antiquities in County Cork and a further 6 on Munster and the south of Ireland. Other specialised volumes in the collection relate to architecture, druids, and ogham inscriptions. The collection includes 33 volumes of correspondence, covering the years 1820 to 1863. Windele had a wide network of antiquarian connections; this is reflected in his correspondence. Prominent contemporaries with whom he corresponded included Sir William Betham, Rev. James Graves, Maurice Lenihan, John O’Donovan, George Petrie, William Wakeman and Sir William Wilde. (The Academy’s collection of Windele material is supplemented by material in other archives, including correspondence from Windele to Petrie preserved in National Library of Ireland Mss 493, 794, 2179.)

The Windele collection of manuscripts is catalogued on the Academy Library’s online manuscripts catalogue.

Descriptive catalogue entries for the Irish language manuscripts in the Windele collection are published in the printed Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy (28 fasciculi, Dublin, 1926-1970).

View a summary list of Manuscripts in the Windele Collection here.

Further reading

Mary Cahill and Aideen Ireland, ‘John Windele’s antiquarian scholarship’, in Bernadette Cunningham and Siobhán Fitzpatrick (eds), Treasures of the Royal Irish Academy Library (Dublin, 2009), 228-35.

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