Ref NoLsdehIde
TitleLamhscribhinni de hÍde
DescriptionThis archive contains 117 volumes (bound and unbound) of Irish manuscripts once belonging to Douglas Hyde, and was deposited with the Library by means of a bequest from Dr. Hyde on his death in 1949. They mainly comprise poetry and prose in Irish gathered for or by Dr. Hyde relating to his work in folklore and other areas. 70 of these were previously listed in print in Richard J.Hayes Manuscript sources for the history of Irish civilisation. In 1926/ 1927 the first 68 manuscripts were listed more comprehensively by Áine de Búrca in a series of 15 notebooks: the last two of these contain an Index of first lines, an Index of prose (by category), and an Index of authors. These notebooks hold detailed descriptions of each volume, their physical appearance, size, and the individual texts contained. This list is a brief version of the notebooks, adding the remainder of manuscripts (nos. 69 to 117) from an unidentified list mostly in Irish. Nine of Hyde's manuscripts have been made available online by the Irish Script on Screen/ Meamram Páipéar Ríomhaire database - these are LSS de hÍde 7, 9, 18, 20, 23, 24, 35, 51 and 52 (see http://www.isos.dias.ie/irish/index.html).

In her introduction to the notebook, Áine de Búrca wrote.
The MSS at present in Dr. Hyde's possession are the fruits of tireless efforts, on the part of one worker, to snatch from utter destruction those gems of our national literature. Whilst cataloguing them for University College Galway I have come to realize more keenly what the loss of countless smaller volumes has meant to that literature and I have learned to sympathise with the regret of the scholar that the custodians of those treasures could not be educated to realize their value.

This collection of MSS is one of the largest, if not the very largest in private hands. It comprises 120 columes, about twelve of which belong to the eighteenth century, over forty to the nineteenth century, and the remainder to the twentieth century. The contents are varied and representative of many plases of Irish literature and folklore. On the rpose side, they afford a goodly stock of the sagas of early days, some of which have not found their way to print. In dealing with the saga, I wish to call special attention to lsdehIde 13 which contains a copy of "Toruigheacht Duibhelacha Lamhghile, a better copy than that published by Kuno Meyer out of the "Book of Fermoy", which is the only other extant copy of this piece. Amongst other saints' lives we have in lsdehIde 36 the "Life of St. Finbarr", copied in the late nineteenth century from an MS by Michael O'Clery.

lsdehIde 4,5 and 18 are examples of the moral and religious treatises that contributed to the clory of the Franciscans of Louvain in the seventeenth century volumes, the first published volumes of which are now treasured so carefully in our libraries. Turning to the works of those great theologians we have in lsdehIde 10, 11 and 35, some few examples of the spontaneousand beautiful utterings of the religious heart of the Gael. Thet are poems and prayers of the type, which we make acquaintance in "Religious Songs of Connaught".

Finally, on the prose side, history is not without it's representative, though were it not for lsdehIde 26 it would be almost so. This fine MS from the hand of an unknown scribe contains Keating's "History of Ireland". With this cursory reference to the prose in the MS, I turn to the verse therein. This occupies the bilk of the MSS and is drawn from a wide variety of writers both in the classical and modern metres. Oisín's place is, as usual, a large one and lsdehIde 27 and 30 contain practically nothing but Fenian lays. The early Christian muse is represented here by names of Patrick, COlumcille and Broccan. The classical metres are contined mainly to two MSS., ladehIde 52 and 56, the second of which is one of the most precious in the whole collection. It was written by two scholars whose names are inextricably wound up with Irish literary history in the nineteenth century, John O'Donovan and Eugene O'Curry.

This fine volume includes, among others, proems by Donnchadh Mór Ó Dálaigh, Muiris Mac Dáibhí, Dubh Mac GEarailt, Giolla Brighde and Eochaidh O'Hussey. Many of them have been published lately, but such is not the case with lsdehIde 52, few o which have yet reached the hands of the public with the exception of the poems of Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn.
Date1600s-1900s
Extent11 boxes
Persons
CodePersonNameDatesParallel forms of name
DS/UK/30Hyde; Douglas (1860-1949); First President of Ireland 1938-1945, first President of the Gaelic League1860-1949Dubhghlas de hÍde
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