NUI Galway project to digitise letters from emigrants over hundreds of years

NUI Galway project to digitise letters from emigrants over hundreds of years
Apr 29 2021 Posted: 19:01 IST

Kerby A. Miller is the foremost historian of Irish emigration to North America. Emigrants and Exiles (Oxford, 1985), drew heavily on Irish emigrants’ own words, most especially letters that were sent home to Ireland from the late 1600s through the mid-1900s. Miller found these letters in archives and libraries and issued an appeal asking people to send him letters received from the US and Canada. The result is an extraordinary archive that is of immense value not only to historians, of both North America and Ireland, but also genealogists.

In 2020, Kerby and his wife Patricia donated this archive to NUI Galway, where the Hardiman Library, Moore Institute for the Humanities and Social Studies, and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta are working to develop into an online database; appropriately, much of the work on the database will be undertaken in the University’s centres, in Connemara and west Donegal, districts long decimated by emigration. More

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