Engraving of a south west view of Galway town, 1820

This month the Oireachtas Library is displaying a first edition of a history of Galway published 200 years ago.

The author, James Hardiman, believed that too little was known in Britain about Ireland, particularly the western part of the island. He wrote the book to fill this gap. Containing facsimile maps and engravings, the book outlines the history of Galway from its beginnings to the post-Union period. It is still considered an important reference work today.

“Many a single shire in England has been more copiously described and better illustrated than the whole of Ireland!”

Hardiman was a founding member of the Celtic Society and the Irish Archaeological Society, and became librarian at Queen’s College of Galway when it opened in 1849. The James Hardiman Library at NUIG is named after him.

To find out more, visit the digital exhibition of the documents in the display case.