The American Irish Historical Society

The American Irish Historical Society The American Irish Historical Society records, celebrates, promotes and reflects the values of Irish culture that contribute to the growth of our nation.

Founded in 1897, the AIHS is an international center of scholarship, education and cultural enrichment dedicated to promoting the significant, on-going contributions to the United States of America made by Irish immigrants and their descendants. The Society maintains an extensive collection of Irish and American Irish books, newspapers, archives and memorabilia in its landmark headquarters on Fift

Founded in 1897, the AIHS is an international center of scholarship, education and cultural enrichment dedicated to promoting the significant, on-going contributions to the United States of America made by Irish immigrants and their descendants. The Society maintains an extensive collection of Irish and American Irish books, newspapers, archives and memorabilia in its landmark headquarters on Fift

Operating as usual

Join us for a special streaming concert and performance from James Joyce's The Dead on January 6 at 7:30pm. Click here f...
01/04/2021
A Christmas Concert

Join us for a special streaming concert and performance from James Joyce's The Dead on January 6 at 7:30pm. Click here for tickets:https://aihs.viewcy.com/e/a_christmas_concert_1

The American Irish Historical Society and Fusion Theatre Present A Christmas Concert with a performance from James Joyce's The Dead. Featuring Irish Soprano/Actress Eilin O'Dea and Tenor Byron Singleton with Musical Direction by Maestro Brian Holman.

The Wheel of Fortuna seems to have turned rather decisively since Derek Mahon published this early version of a section ...
04/17/2020

The Wheel of Fortuna seems to have turned rather decisively since Derek Mahon published this early version of a section of “The Yellow Book” in the Fall 1996 issue of The Recorder. Sending kind wishes to all who are isolated today. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #derekmahon #austinclarke #hasartlikelifeitssourceinagony @ The American Irish Historical Society

“Star Turn” by Charles Wright is today’s poem, first published in the Fall 1996 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemofth...
04/17/2020

“Star Turn” by Charles Wright is today’s poem, first published in the Fall 1996 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #charleswright

Today Alexander Theroux reminds us that “The Dreadful Reality of Being Oneself Eventually Becomes A Comfort.” His poem w...
04/15/2020

Today Alexander Theroux reminds us that “The Dreadful Reality of Being Oneself Eventually Becomes A Comfort.” His poem was published in the Fall 2000 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #alexandertheroux

Today we have “Patience” by Sara Berkeley, originally published in the Fall 1994 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoft...
04/14/2020

Today we have “Patience” by Sara Berkeley, originally published in the Fall 1994 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #saraberkeley

Please consider donating to the American Irish Historical Society. Any and all donations are much appreciated. We hope e...
04/14/2020
IRISH CULTURE TOUCHES EVERYONE

Please consider donating to the American Irish Historical Society. Any and all donations are much appreciated. We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.

You Irish? Wish you were? The AIHS celebrates and preserves the American Irish experience. The crisis is hurting. Help us help Irish Culture

Today is the 81st anniversary of the birth of the poet Seamus Heaney, who was born on April 13, 1939. His translation of...
04/14/2020

Today is the 81st anniversary of the birth of the poet Seamus Heaney, who was born on April 13, 1939. His translation of “Lament for Timoleague” from the Irish of Seán Ó Coileáin (1754-1817) appeared in the Summer 1994 issue of The Recorder, “A Tribute to Benedict Kiely.” #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #seamusheaney #seanocoileain #timoleague #benedictkiely @ The American Irish Historical Society

For Easter Sunday, instead of a poem we are sharing a message from the poet Seamus Heaney, for many years an Advisory Ed...
04/12/2020

For Easter Sunday, instead of a poem we are sharing a message from the poet Seamus Heaney, for many years an Advisory Editor of and a regular contributor to The Recorder. It is inscribed in my copy of “Laments” by the great Polish Renaissance poet Jan Kochanowski, translated by Heaney with Stanislaw Baranczak. Wishing all a joyous and blessed Easter and many happy returns. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #inscription #seamusheaney #jankochanowski #stanisławbarańczak #laments #nolamenting

During the Easter Vigil we share Jean Kane’s “You Gave Up the Ghost,” first published in the Fall 2001 issue of The Reco...
04/12/2020

During the Easter Vigil we share Jean Kane’s “You Gave Up the Ghost,” first published in the Fall 2001 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry @ The American Irish Historical Society

For Good Friday we have “Pale Rider” by the late Brigit Pegeen Kelly, first published in the Fall 2001 issue of The Reco...
04/10/2020

For Good Friday we have “Pale Rider” by the late Brigit Pegeen Kelly, first published in the Fall 2001 issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #brigitpegeenkelly #goodfriday @ The American Irish Historical Society

Today’s poem from The Recorder is “Sea Glass” by Catherine Kasper, first published in the Fall 2004 issue. #poetry #poem...
04/07/2020

Today’s poem from The Recorder is “Sea Glass” by Catherine Kasper, first published in the Fall 2004 issue. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry

From the Spring 2000 issue of The Recorder we bring you “Problems in Drawing a Pint of Guinness” by Billy Collins. #poet...
04/05/2020

From the Spring 2000 issue of The Recorder we bring you “Problems in Drawing a Pint of Guinness” by Billy Collins. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #billycollins

The extraordinary writer, mapmaker, ecologist, and artist Tim Robinson, who died today from Covid-19 at 85 years of age,...
04/03/2020

The extraordinary writer, mapmaker, ecologist, and artist Tim Robinson, who died today from Covid-19 at 85 years of age,was one of the most frequent and illustrious contributors to The Recorder over many decades. His “Orion the Hunter,” first published in our 1997 Centenary Issue, was selected for the volume “Best American Essays 1998” and was later collected in his “Tales & Imaginings.” Tim’s beloved wife and partner Mairéad died from Covid-19 complications sixteen days ago. In death they were not divided. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann. @ The American Irish Historical Society

Today’s poem from The Recorder is “History” by Christopher Cahill, first published in the Fall 1998 issue. #poetry #poem...
04/03/2020

Today’s poem from The Recorder is “History” by Christopher Cahill, first published in the Fall 1998 issue. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #history

If you need a change of scenery take a virtual tour of the AIHS. Though the building is currently closed, our public spa...
04/02/2020
Explore 991 Fifth Avenue in 3D

If you need a change of scenery take a virtual tour of the AIHS. Though the building is currently closed, our public spaces and galleries are open virtually. Visit the link in our bio to take a virtual tour today.

Matterport 3D Showcase

We return to isolation 11th Century-style today with Seamus Heaney’s translation “Colmcille the Scribe” originally publi...
04/01/2020

We return to isolation 11th Century-style today with Seamus Heaney’s translation “Colmcille the Scribe” originally published in the Spring & Fall 1997 Centenary Issue of The Recorder. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #seamusheaney #colmcille #monastery #monasterylife #medievalireland #poetryintranslation

From the 1980 edition of The Recorder we bring you today “Bíonn” by Rísteard Ó hÉalaidhe. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsda...
04/01/2020

From the 1980 edition of The Recorder we bring you today “Bíonn” by Rísteard Ó hÉalaidhe. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #gaelige @ The American Irish Historical Society

Today from The Recorder we have “Injury Time” by Eoghan Naughton, first published in the Summer 2007 issue. Stay safe an...
03/29/2020

Today from The Recorder we have “Injury Time” by Eoghan Naughton, first published in the Summer 2007 issue. Stay safe and well everyone. #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #eoghannaughton

Today’s poem from The Recorder is Derek Mahon’s version of a part of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Gramsci’s Ashes.” Published ...
03/24/2020

Today’s poem from The Recorder is Derek Mahon’s version of a part of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Gramsci’s Ashes.” Published in the Centennial Edition of the journal (Spring & Fall 1997), this version was substantially altered by the author for its publication in “Roman Script” (1999). #poetry #poemoftheday #poemsdaily #irishpoetry #derekmahon #pasolini @ The American Irish Historical Society

https://youtu.be/d772d3xbAUEThe American Irish Historical Society has been lucky to be a part of New York City's St. Pat...
03/17/2020
2020 St Patrick's Day Message from President Michael D. Higgins

https://youtu.be/d772d3xbAUE

The American Irish Historical Society has been lucky to be a part of New York City's St. Patrick's Day festivities for over 120 years and we are honored to be celebrating the spirit of the holiday with everyone today. As President Higgins said, "wherever you may be, and in whatever circumstances, as part of Ireland's global family you will be joining with us as we celebrate the feast day of our patron saint, and the culture ancient and contemporary, the heritage and history that connect us... St. Patrick's Day has become a profound expression of a common history that extends far beyond Irish shores, and of the strong bonds we share with our wider global family despite the miles, borders and oceans that may separate us."

We look forward to when we can get together to raise a toast in celebration but for today we are proud to be united with those who are Irish by birth, descent, association and friendship as we celebrate our patron saint and our Irishness.

We wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe St. Patrick's Day celebration.

May I, on this St. Patrick’s Day 2020, send my warmest greetings as Uachtarán na hÉireann, President of Ireland, to all our extended family across the world ...

Merry Christmas!
12/25/2019

Merry Christmas!

The American Irish Historical Society awarded its highest honor to Leo P. (Sullivan) Denault, Chairman and CEO of @Enter...
11/26/2019

The American Irish Historical Society awarded its highest honor to Leo P. (Sullivan) Denault, Chairman and CEO of @Entergy Corporation with its 122nd Gold Medal. Each year at its Annual Dinner, the AIHS presents its Gold Medal to a chosen individual of Irish descent. The medalist is chosen for their exemplary life and accomplishments, which highlight the continuing mission and purpose of the Society.

Mr. Denault used his mother’s maiden name, Sullivan, for the evening to honor her, his Irish heritage, and the story of the Irish in New York City, New Orleans, and beyond. Mr. Denault calls New Orleans home and sees the enduring landmarks of the early 19th century Irish experience and contributions to his city on a daily basis. These remind him of his story and the story of countless others whose families came in search of the American dream. Read more about Mr. Denault and his achievements here: http://aihs.org/annual-dinner/

A Message from our friends at Irish Business Organization of New York to help the incredible Sean McNeil, any donations ...
07/24/2019
Click here to support Sean McNeill Fund organized by Maralyn Dolan

A Message from our friends at Irish Business Organization of New York to help the incredible Sean McNeil, any donations truly appreciated, we wish Sean a full recovery:

Our friend Sean McNeill has always been someone who gives back to the community.

Now it’s time for the community to give back to Sean.

Sean is suffering from an aggressive and debilitating form of gall bladder cancer and faces an uncertain prognosis.

Compounding his medical challenges are the financial ones.

An entrepreneur, Sean ran his own real estate business and two online shopping start-ups, but now that he is incapacitated, his income has dried up as his bills are piling up--from his monthly rent to the staggering medical fees not covered by health insurance.

A native of County Roscommon, Sean is well-known in New York’s Irish community. A longtime member of the Irish Business Organization of New York, Sean served on the IBO board, was a three-year IBO president and is a member of the IBO advisory board.

He’s taken part in Concern fundraising runs, Solace House Sunrise Walks, the Irish “Meitheal” to aid in the recovery of the post-Hurricane Sandy Rockaways, Irish County Association events, and other many fundraising events in the community.

While we can’t provide the medical know-how to help Sean’s cause, we can provide a key part of the financial support he needs to pay for his costly treatments and to give Sean some peace of mind in the face of such financial stress.

Sean had been reluctant to be a burden on anyone, but now, faced with so many challenges, he welcomes our help.

We’ve established a challenging goal of $50,000, a sum which will have a real impact on meeting his mounting needs.

Please join us in supporting a man who provided so much support for others through his dedication to the community.

Please give generously to this Sean McNeill Fund.

And thank you from all his many friends…and from Sean himself.

https://www.gofundme.com/822kuu-sean

Our friend Sean McNeill has always been someone who gives back to the community.Now it’s time for the community to give back to Sean.Sean is suffering from an aggressive and debilitating form of gall bladder cancer and faces an uncertain prognosis. Compounding his medical challenges are the...

The American Irish Historical Society's cover photo
07/10/2019

The American Irish Historical Society's cover photo

Last February Finn Dwyer spoke at the American Irish Historical Society as part of our Success In The City Series. In a ...
05/21/2019
Live at the American Irish Historical Society | Fin Dwyer on Patreon

Last February Finn Dwyer spoke at the American Irish Historical Society as part of our Success In The City Series. In a questions and answers format Finn and Martin Nutty talked through several aspects of Irish History. They discussed whether the Famine can be considered a genocide, what motivated medieval witchcraft trials and much more.

To hear the live recording - turned podcast, you can do so on Finn's Patreon Page:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/26926131

Official Post from Fin Dwyer: Last February I was delighted to speak at the American Irish Historical Society (AIHS) in New York. In a questions and answers format myself and Martin Nutty of the AIHS talked through several aspects of Irish History. We discussed whether the Famine can be considered a...

Success In The City with Doireann Garrihy!Photos by Anna O'Carroll
04/15/2019

Success In The City with Doireann Garrihy!
Photos by Anna O'Carroll

Success In The City with Doireann Garrihy!
Photos by Anna O'Carroll

Outrage Marketing
04/15/2019

Outrage Marketing

Outrage Marketing

Address

991 5th Ave
New York, NY
10028

General information

For tours of our historic Beaux-Arts townhouse, visitors may call (212) 288-2263 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment. Scholars and researchers must also schedule appointments with our librarian, Georgette Keane, to view our collection.The Society's hours of operation are 9-5pm Monday through Friday. Visit the Events tab for current and upcoming AIHS events!

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

(212) 288-2263

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THE FALL TERM OF WORLDWIDE FREE IRISH LANGUAGE CLASSES BEGINS THIS WEEK. Cumann Carad na Gaeilge / The Philo-Celtic Society begins its Fall Term of worldwide, free, Irish Language classes at all levels this week. To sign up, go immediately to https://groups.io/g/philo-celtic-society Please spread the word with all your friends, family, and social media. Join the worldwide Irish Language Renaissance!
St. Brendan’s cross. I crafted this beautiful repoussé copper artwork of "St. Brendan’s Cross". Hand Crafted with Celtic magic in the traditional ancient Irish Celtic craft of copper repoussé. St. Brendan’s cross is a Celtic cross that is especially associated with the monk. All Celtic crosses have four arms with a circle surrounding them. There are many interpretations of the symbolism of each element. St. Brendan’s cross is shown on the sails of the boats above. Several scholars have speculated that St. Brendan invented then used it as a crude navigational tool shaped like the cross. The Celtic cross that is associated with the monk took roots in this tool. Another, more stylised, Celtic cross is also associated with St. Brendan. This cross is a circle of 4 dolphins whose tails meet in the center to form a cross. This version of St. Brendan's Cross has inspired many modern jewelry makers to fashion items such as earrings and pendants based on the design. St. Brendan was an Irish monk who lived from 484 to 577 AD in western Ireland. He is the patron saint of boatmen, mariners, sailors, travellers &whales. St. Brendan was a charismatic leader who was well known for his ocean voyages through northwest Europe. He helped in spreading the Christian faith founding several monasteries across Europe. The most intriguing of his travels was the account of a seven-year voyage that is chronicled in the “in fictionalised romance Navigato Sancti Brendani (Brendan's Voyage), which according to the Clonfert-Monastic Settlement in Galway website, was "written by an Irish monk in the ninth or tenth century that describes the seven-year voyage of Saint Brendan." The legend tells that St. Brendan had heard of the “Land of Promise”.Which he planned to find then he set sail to ¬find the “Land of Promise” with several other monks in a curragh (a hide-covered wood-framed boat with sails). St. Brendan reported reaching several islands, one whose description suggests the volcanoes of Iceland. He eventually reached “The Land of Saints” which many people believe was North America. Whether the tale is true or not, the account as written in the Navigatio was widely believed. When Columbus set out to ¬find a western route, he had a map that featured a large landmass labelled St. Brendan’s Island in the middle of the Atlantic Many scholars have sought proof that St. Brendan reached America. However, the voyage remains a matter of speculation and myth. An adventurer named Severin recreated the voyage in 1976 ala Kon Tiki. He built a curragh faithful to what is known of the original design, then set sail with a crew to see if he could recreate a voyage to America. They sailed from Ireland to Scotland, the Hebrides, the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, and eventually Labrador. These were lands that could be construed to ¬ fit in with the descriptions of landfalls written in the Navagatio. It was a wild ride, but they proved that the voyage was possible.
Irish Wolves A beautiful handcrafted repoussé copper artwork of "Family of Wolves". Hand Crafted with Celtic magic in the traditional ancient Irish Celtic craft of copper repoussé. Wolves were regarded as majestic animals who roamed freely in the vast ancient forests of Ireland for thousands of years. The Irish tribes lived side by side with wolves both feared and admired them. The Irish were very impressed by the hunting skills of wolves, that they were treated as sacred animals. That was traditionally associated with shape-shifters. The Wolf became the companions of the pagan deities who also took the form of a wolf in numerous Irish myths and legends. Some of the first wild animals to be domesticated by man were,, wolf cubs. Their sharp eyesight, sense of smell made them ideal as hunting dogs. Wolves were part of the everyday lives of the Irish, particularly forest-dwellers. They competed with hunters for prey such as stags, deer, and boar The relationship between the Irish and wolves dated back to the earliest of times in history. The earliest known location of an Irish Wolf is in North Cork where during an archaeological excavation in Castlewood cave near Mallow the remains of a Wolf dating to 34,000 BC were found. The earliest known record of Wolves in Ireland can be found in the Annals of Tigernach from 1137 which reports on the death of a blind man called Giolla Muire who was mauled by a pack of Wolves in the Midlands. . The Irish warrior class admired wolves as cunning predators who possessed strength and swiftness. Numerous Celtic tribes claimed descent from wolves possibly because they were loyal, sociable animals who hunted in nomadic families. The Wolf population was a vibrant one in Ireland up until the early 17th century, the country even gained a nickname: 'Wolf Land'! The last known wolf in England was killed in the 1300s while in Scotland the Wolf population was wiped out by the 1680s. When the English arrived in Ireland, they encountered a large population of wolves. They set about eradicating them like they had done so across Britain. The English introduced legislation to cull the Wolf population but the native Irish were not as interested in culling wolves. Wolf hunters were brought into Ireland from England, enticed by the large bounties placed on wolves. The bounty of six pounds was placed on a female wolf, five pounds for a male, two pounds for cubs. The records from those times report over 1000 Wolf skins were exported from Ireland annually as the centuries rolled on the number of Wolves roaming Ireland decreased. The popular belief is that the last Wolf left in Ireland was killed in Carlow in 1786. The Watson family were the landlords at Ballydarton they founded the Tullow Hunt. John Watson was the master of the Tullow Hunt., Watson was enraged by the killing of his sheep by a lone Wolf whose den was on Mount Leinster, he set about tracking the animal down. They hunted with a pack of Wolfhounds; Watson tracked the last known wolf in Ireland to its den on Mount Leinster in County Carlow. This ended the tale of Wolves freely roaming the Irish countryside sending them into extinction in Ireland.
Setanta Irish mythical sagas, Beautiful handcrafted large repoussé copper artwork of Sentanta with Culann wolfhound. “Framed in a bespoke hand-painted frame. Hand Crafted with Celtic magic in the traditional ancient Irish Celtic craft of copper repoussé. The legend of Setanta is noted in Irish mythical sagas, for his superhuman strength. The tale was originally passed down by word of mouth until it was written down more than 800 years ago in the Táin Bó Cúailnge. The story is so powerful that it is still taught in many schools and written about today. Long ago in Ireland there lived a boy named Setanta, his uncle was Conchobar Mac Nessa he was the king of Ulster. The king lived in a great fort, at a place called Eamhain Macha. (near the town of Armagh). Conchobar Mac Neassa had a troop of boys under his care which was called the Macra. The king built a playing field for the boys near his fort. Where they were trained to fight with weapons & wrestle. They played war games with wooden swords and spears. The Macra also played hurling along with other Gaelic games. When the boys were good enough they would become a warrior in Conchobar's legendary army the Red Branch Knights. Setanta lived with his mother near Dún Dealgan (Dundalk). Setanta longed to join the Macra, But his mother Dechtire whose half-brother was the king of Ulster. Though he was far too young to leave home. He kept begging her day after day until Dechtire finally gave in, she gave him her love and sent him on his way. When Setanta left home he was seven years old, to join the Red Branch Knights. The journey would be a long one, he took his hurley, his sliotar(ball ), along with his Sheld & spear. As he traveled to his uncle's fort Setanta would hit the sliotar (ball) he would run to catch it before it touched the ground. Then he would throw the spear as well run after them, catch the ball with one hand the spear with the other. When Setanta reached the fort he saw the Macra playing a game of hurling. He ran in among the boys caught the ball. The other boys were furious that this boy had joined their game uninvited. They attacked Setanta from all sides, They threw their spears at him, Setanta blocked the spears on his shield. Setanta fought off the boys bravely, the noise disturbed the King. He came to the field to see who & what was causing all the noise. The king was very angry with Setanta, the boy shouted, "I am your nephew, I have come from Dundalk; I have come to join the Macra" The king admired Setanta's bravery, he welcomed him to the Macra. Setanta loved his life in the Macra time passed quickly. There was a blacksmith in Ulster named Culann who crafted the best swords, & spears in Ireland for the king his warriors. One day Culann invited the king, his knights, Setanta to a feast in his fort. When the king was setting out for Culann's fort, Setanta was playing a game of hurling. He told the king that he would follow as soon as the game was finished. Before the feast began, Culann asked if everyone was in, for if everyone was, he would release his fierce hound, who guarded his fort. "We are all here," said the king, forgetting about Setanta. Culann let loose his hound. When the game was over Setanta set out for the feast, as he came near to Culann's fort. Setanta heard the deep growls of a hound., Suddenly the hound appeared out of the dark running towards him. The wolfhound attacked Setanta who had no weapons he had only his hurley and sliotar (ball). Setanta with all his strength hurled his sliotar down the hound's throat killing it Inside the fort they heard the noise, Conor jumped to his feet and cried out 'We have forgotten Setanta". Conor along with the Red Branch knights rushed out expecting to find the boy torn to pieces. The king was amazed & delighted to see a great hound laying dead at Setanta's feet. The warriors shouted with joy. Only one man was sad. It was Culan. He had lost the wolfhound that he had reared, loved that guarded his house faithfully every night. "I will be your watchdog," said Setanta. Culann agreed. From that day on Setanta was called Cúchulann which means the Hound of Culann. This is where the legend of the ancient Gaelic hero Cú Chulainn starts, it is one of the greatest legends in Irish mythology