Encyclopedia of Irish history and culture

Corporate Author: Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Other Authors: Donnelly, James S.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Farmington, Mich. : Macmillan Reference USA, c2004.
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Review by Choice Review

This encyclopedia covers all periods and all themes of Irish history, culture, society, and people in more than 400 essays, many written by acknowledged experts. It therefore offers many of the usual entries one expects in similar works (e.g., The Encyclopedia of Ireland: An A-Z Guide to Its People, Places, History, and Culture, ed. by Ciaran Brady, CH, May'01, 38-4759; or The Oxford Companion to Irish History, 2nd ed., ed. by S.J. Connolly, CH, Dec'02, 40-1935), including essays about people alive and dead (John Hume, Michael Collins), places (Dublin), or themes (language, literature, politics). But this encyclopedia by Donnelly (history, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) is unique among Irish reference works because of the 150 or so primary documents that make up half the second volume. Documents reprinted include the Confessio of St. Patrick (c. 450 CE), Yeats' poem "Easter 1916" (1916), and the full text of the Belfast/Good Friday peace agreement (1998). This content makes the work attractive for many libraries, especially those that already hold similar titles. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections. J. J. Doherty Northern Arizona University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

In this encyclopedia, designed for "the educated lay public," more than 400 signed articles produced by 205 expert contributors come in three sizes. The largest articles offer more than 2,000 words of in-depth coverage and historical overview. The medium-sized (1,000-2,000 words) and smaller articles (less than 1,000 words) cover historical figures and more discrete events and topics. The A-Z0 entries are preceded by a chronology and followed by a selection of almost 150 primary documents ranging from the Confession of St. Patrick0 (c. 450) to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (1998)--a real bonus to users. Access is aided by an alphabetical list of entries and a comprehensive index with the main entries in bold type. Twenty-three maps and numerous black-and-white photographs and illustrations accompany the text. Providing the latest in scholarship, entries are well written and cover the gamut of historical, social, and cultural topics. Long articles, such as Agriculture, Arts,0 and Home Rule movement and the Irish Parliamentary Party0 , are divided into chronological subentries. Biographies are limited to the most important figures, such as Maud Gonne, Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stuart Parnell, and Mary Robinson. Each article concludes with a bibliography of additional resources and may also have see also0 references to other entries and to the primary documents. For smaller collections, the one-volume Encyclopedia of Ireland0 (Yale, 2003) or The Encyclopedia of Ireland: An A-Z Guide to Its People, Places, History, and Culture 0 (Oxford, 2000) may provide sufficient coverage. Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture 0 would make a good purchase for a public library with clients interested in Ireland and is a must purchase for academic libraries serving both graduate and undergraduate students. --Abbie Vestal Landry Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

This attractive and well-planned work covers Irish history and culture from the earliest times to the present, including over 400 signed articles from more than 200 scholars. Editor Donnelly (history, Univ. of Wisconsin) has kept the articles on individuals short but allowed for more in-depth coverage of major periods and cultural trends in the country's history. Thus, Eamon de Valera and James Joyce receive relatively brief treatment as separate entries, while subjects such as the Irish Diaspora and social change in Ireland since 1922 are treated at length. Included are black-and-white illustrations and maps, a detailed chronology of Irish history, and more than 250 pages of primary documents, including excerpts from Spenser's "A View of the Present State of Ireland" (1596), the text of the Insurrection Act (1796), and the Constitution of the Irish Free State (1922). Although many of these documents were originally published in Irish Historical Documents, 1172-1922, the fact that they are here cross-referenced to individual articles makes them especially useful. Bottom Line Except for the minor drawback that too few contemporary documents are included (the latest is the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, 1998), and fewer than ten of the nearly 150 offered are less than 20 years old, this is a well-structured reference book and a worthy addition for libraries.-William D. Walsh, Georgia State Univ., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.