(6-21-99) -- The Boston College Libraries have struck a resource-sharing partnership with the Linen Hall Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that will create between them the largest repository of Irish publications in the world.
Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci '70, JD '73, will join University President William P. Leahy, SJ, in witnessing the signing of the agreement in Belfast on Tuesday, June 22.
"Boston College continues to build cultural and educational bridges across the Atlantic," said Cellucci. "Given their mutual interests and long-term ties, it seems only fitting that these major research libraries enter into a formal arrangement to share resources, enhance access to each other's collections and promote knowledge and understanding.
The agreement between the libraries, to be signed at a civic reception at Belfast City Center, will permit shared access to collections and enable students from Massachusetts and Ulster to tap the diverse resources of each library.
"This is the first such agreement between the Boston College libraries and any library on the island," said Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill, who will be present at the signing. "It is certainly one of the fruits of developing contacts over the years."
The Linen Hall Library is a major independent subscribing research library known for its extensive holdings on Northern Irish politics. The library maintains large collections in all areas of Irish interest, including travel, heraldry, poetry, theater and genealogy. Founded in 1788 as the Belfast Reading Society, Linen Hall is the last surviving subscribing library in the country.
The John J. Burns Library at Boston College, with more than 150,000 volumes and 15 million manuscripts, houses the premier collection of Irish research materials in the United States. Its Irish Collection documents the history, life and culture of the Irish people, with emphasis on the period from 1798 to the present, and with particularly strong holdings in the areas of Irish history, religion and politics.
"It is particularly appropriate that the Linen Hall, Belfast's oldest library, with its early Ulster printing and Northern Ireland political collection - the definitive archive of the recent Troubles - should develop such a relationship with the Boston College Libraries," said Linen Hall Library Director John Gray.
A Boston College delegation led by Fr. Leahy is scheduled to attend the signing of the library agreement in Belfast as part of a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland June 21-23. During the two-day trip, the BC contingent also will participate in a series of business seminars arranged by the BC Irish Institute, and host a reunion at the National Gallery in Dublin of BC alumni living in Ireland.
Cellucci is scheduled to be in Ireland at the same time as part of a Massachusetts trade mission he is leading to Europe June 18-26.
Both Fr. Leahy and Cellucci have been invited to a luncheon at the Parliament Building at Stormont.
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