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Irish Maps

A catalog of the maps, atlases, and nautical charts of Ireland in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, with a select map gallery

Compiled by
Patrick E. Dempsey
Eileen M. McConnell
Kenneth B. McConnell
Barbara S. O'Brien

Regni et insulæ Hiberniæ...[17--]
Irish Maps, Part I
(1-1769)
Introduction and Single sheet maps and maps bound in atlases
Irish Maps, Part II
(1770-1855)
Medium and large scale map sets
Irish Maps, Part III
(1856-2010)
British Admiralty Charts
Appendix Irish mile equivalents; Townlands transferred in 1898; Phillips numbers
Title Index Alphabetically lists exact titles as given on the maps
General Index Contains: personal and corporate names, subjects, and insets
Map Gallery Gallery of selected maps
Entire Catalog of Irish Maps The entire Irish Maps Catalog (636 pages)
Regni et insulæ Hiberniæ delineatio in qua sont Lagenia, Ultonia, Connachia et Momonia provenciæ. By Frederik de Wit [17--]  
G5780 17-- .W5 TIL

Introduction

The mapping of Ireland dates back to sixteenth century. The maps graphically reflect Irish history and illustrate changes in the governance and development of the land. This carto-bibliography is a compilation of maps of Ireland by leading cartographers such as Mercator, Hondius, Blaeu, and Sanson in sixteenth and seventeenth century maps and atlases, as well as English surveys carried out by Sir William Petty in the seventeenth century, and by the Ordnance Survey Office in the nineteenth century. The earliest map of Ireland in the Division is a 1528 map found in the atlas titled Libro Di Benedetto Bordone (see entry 1 in Part One).

The project began in the 1980s when a group of volunteers, all of Irish-American heritage, set out to create an authoritative carto-bibliographic resource of Ireland. The devoted team prepared this extensive list of more than 2,000 cartographic specimens in the collections of the Geography and Map Division. Led by former Geography and Map Division Senior Reference Librarian Patrick Dempsey, Eileen M. McConnell, Kenneth B. McConnell, and Barbara S. O’Brien dedicated thousands of hours to the project. They described their work as “a labor of love by a group of people who enjoyed doing it and became fast friends.” In 2004, they presented their findings to the Washington Map Society. Their remarks appeared in Issue 59, Spring 2004 of The Portolan in an article titled, "Maps & Genealogy: The Irish Map Project at the Library of Congress."

The staff of the Geography and Map Division fully supported the project. Past Chiefs John Wolter and John Hébert, as well as current Chief Ralph E. Ehrenberg welcomed the volunteers and provided access to materials. Former staff members Richard Stevenson, Ronald Grim, Kathryn L. Engstrom, Gary Fitzpatrick, and Lisa Cope, along with current Reference Specialist Edward Redmond, answered numerous reference questions and helped to retrieve materials, particularly rare and valuable items.

Present-day digital publishing has made it possible to share this previously unpublished resource online. Since more than a decade had passed since the work was completed, a number of updates and edits were required. It was also decided to complement the catalog with an annotated gallery of select Irish maps from the Geography and Map Division’s vault, which houses rare and valuable historic artifacts. It is hoped that these samples will encourage interest and provide a glimpse of the materials to those unable to visit the Library.

Ryan J. Moore
Cartographic Specialist
Geography and Map Division
Library of Congress

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  September 15, 2017
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