The University of Limerick (UL) has conferred Irish archivist Dr Anthony Malcomson with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
Dr Malcomson received his honorary doctorate this Tuesday in a week that will see a total of 2,400 students being conferred on the UL campus.
Dr Malcomson led a vital effort in recovering and locating archival material across Ireland and Britain as a substitute for what had been lost in 1922 when the records of the Irish state going back to the twelfth century were destroyed as a result of the occupation of the Four Courts by anti-treaty insurgents.
Head of UL’s Department of History Dr David Fleming who read the citation for Dr Malcomson during the honorary doctorate ceremony, said: “Anthony very quickly established a reputation as one of the best archivists in the country, and he was commissioned by both the National Library of Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission to catalogue and calendar archival collections.
“His travels around Ireland rescuing vulnerable collections happened at a time when Ireland’s underfunded national archival institutions were unable or unwilling to take on the task.
“Today, scholars and students of all periods and themes are in his debt for the materials he found and made accessible,” Dr Fleming said.
Dr Fleming continued: “The University of Limerick has also benefitted from Anthony’s knowledge and expertise. One of the first historic manuscript collections acquired by UL were the papers of the Earls of Dunraven of Adare, County Limerick. The papers had been on deposit at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland since the sale of the Manor in the 1980s. “In the late 1990s, Dr Malcomson, then just retired from the Record Office, visited UL and examined the newly instituted Special Collections department of the Library. He advised the Dunraven family that the University was an appropriate place for their papers and recommended that they be transferred from Belfast to Limerick.
“Since then, at least three UL PhD theses have drawn almost exclusively from these papers, and the collection has attracted many scholars to the University. Anthony also helped negotiate the transfer of the Knight of Glin papers from private family ownership into the University’s custodianship, again highlighting how critical such resources are for scholarly endeavour,” Dr Fleming added.
Pic. Dr Malcomson with Countess of Rosse, Alison Rosse, Thomas Vesey, Viscount de Vesci, Prof Bruce Campbell, Ed Walsh, founding president of UL and Geraldine Wyndham-Quin | PICTURE: True Media
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