Friday, 19 February 2010
Dictionary of Irish Biography
The recently published Dictionary of Irish Biography is the most comprehensive biographical dictionary ever published for Ireland. The result of a collaborative project between the Royal Irish Academy and Cambridge University Press, the 9 volume work covers over 9,700 lives. The aim of the DIB project was to cover the lives of all Irish men and women who made a significant impact in Ireland or abroad over the last 2,000 years, as well as those born overseas who had noteworthy careers in Ireland. The signed biographical articles describe and assess the careers of subjects in all fields of endeavour, including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport. Subjects covered range from St Patrick to Patrick Pearse, James Ussher to James Joyce, St Brigid to Maud Gonne MacBride, Dan Donnelly to Nicky Rackard, Edward Carson to Bobby Sands, Jack Butler Yeats to Seamus Murphy. Distinctive features of the Dictionary include the particular attention paid to outstanding women who have been previously overlooked, the inclusion of infamous and notorious characters and the broad coverage of the modern period. The Dictionary is an indispensable work of reference for scholars, journalists, broadcasters, diplomats, and the general reader interested in Ireland’s past or in biography. The DIB is being published simultaneously in print and online. The printed version covers up until the year 2002. The online version of the dictionary will be an ongoing project, with new biographies being added each year into the future. Seamus Heaney said of the project: “Publication of the RIA's Dictionary of Irish Biography is an epoch-making event in the history of Irish scholarship. It changes the state of knowledge in the twenty-first century as decidedly as the Ordnance Survey did in the nineteenth”.
Links: http://dib.cambridge.org/; http://www.ria.ie/Our-Work/Research/DIB.aspx