NEW IN 2020: Browse our new ONLINE LIBRARY CATALOGUE
Since 2003, the HHSI has been assembling the first ever library collection dedicated to historical Irish – and to a lesser extent, European – harps and related subjects e.g. early Irish vocal music and poetry, with works relating also to relevant Irish and related European history, culture, society and historical music-making. There is a Special Collection of rare, old and fragile items and a Lending Collection of items that may be borrowed by members of the Society.
This unique collection now consists of 500+ catalogued items: books and music-source material (19th- to 21st century), periodicals, theses, sheet music, sound recordings, harp-building plans, and ephemera. Dr Weissenberger, who catalogued the collection for the Society, points out that “…[in] this valuable resource[, it’s] worth noting that I found quite a few items in this collection that only one to two other libraries in the world also own.”
We are delighted to announce that our 2019 Arts-Council-funded project to catalogue the printed materials, sound recordings and ephemera in the HHSI Members’ Library is now complete. Our catalogue is now visible and searchable in an online library management system, integrated into our website. The system we chose for our Library is LibLime Koha, which is the most advanced open-source Integrated Library System in use today by hundreds of libraries worldwide.
The Arts Council’s ‘Report on the Harping Tradition in Ireland’ 2014, recommended that “[t]he Arts Council should seek to support research and publication on the subject of the early Irish harpers, the early harping tradition, and the harp in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth century.”
The formation of this unique collection – and its continued expansion – is an indispensable step towards building a vital resource that can support early and modern harpists, harp builders, singers and other Irish – and historical – music practitioners and researchers in Ireland.
We are very grateful for Arts Council 2019 Arts Grant funding, which has enabled us to prepare and present a library catalogue to a world-wide audience for the first time.
Until the HHSI has a premises, the HHSI Library Collection is accessible to HHSI Members in Kilkenny, Dublin and Galway on request. Local, national & international artists have access to the collection at the annual HHSI summer festival in Kilkenny.
The Society welcomes donations of books, or of funds to make purchases for the library. We are particularly keen to acquire copies of newly-published books and articles about the early Irish harp, and also first edition copies of the key source texts such as Bunting and Armstrong. All such donations will be acknowledged with an inscription or bookplate inside the books donated or purchased, and significant donors will be made honorary life members of the Society. For more information or to make a donation please contact us.