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Tomás de Bhaldraithe Collection

Identifier: MSE/IR 1401

Scope and Contents

The Tomás de Bhaldraithe Collection includes 54 items, ranging in date from 1939 to 1985. It includes 10 theses, 3 letters from Máirtín Ó Cadhain to de Bhaldraithe, 1 letter from Máire Mhac an tSaoi to de Bhaldraithe, materials relating to academic positions for both de Bhaldraithe and Ó Cadhain, manuscript lists of words from Ó Cadhain's writings, and press cuttings and lectures regarding Ó Cadhain.


  • Creation: 1916 - 1990


Language of Materials

Collection material in English, Irish, French, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Tomás de Bhaldraithe, born in Ireland in 1916, was a leading scholar in Irish language and literature. He carried out intensive research on the dialect of the Cois Fharraige Gaeltacht, the Irish-speaking region west of Galway city, and published The Irish of Cois Fhairrge, Co. Galway: A Phonetic Study (1945)andGaeilge Chois Fhairrge: An Deilbhíocht (1953). His Ph.D. thesis (1942) was also on this subject.

From 1943 until his retirement in 1986, de Bhaldraithe was on the faculty of University College Dublin, holding the chair of Modern Irish Language and Literature from 1960 to 1978. He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and he served on the board of the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. At UCD, he founded the Archive of Irish Dialects.

He is most widely known for his English-Irish dictionary, published in 1959 with a later expanded and revised edition published in 1978. His extensive work developing the RIA's word database, as general editor of the RIA's historical dictionary of Modern Irish and as advisory editor on the Irish-English dictionary edited by Niall Ó Dónaill (1977)are part of his considerable work on the Irish language.

As a literary scholar, he published an edited collection of Irish short stories, Nuascéalaíocht (1952), two collections of short stories by Pádraic Ó Conaire, Scothscéalta (1956) and Seacht mBua an Éirí Amach (1967), Cín Lae Amhlaoibh (1970) and Seanchas Thomáis Laighléis (1977).

Máirtín Ó Cadhain (1906-1970) was a native of Spiddal in the Cois Fharraige Gaeltacht of Galway. He is considered the most important writer of prose in the Irish language. His novel, Cré na Cille won the Oireachtas award for 1947. He published a number of collections of short stories and many essays. From 1956 to 1969 he was on the faculty of Trinity College Dublin, as a lecturer and later as Professor of Irish.


3 Cubic Feet


Correspondence, notes and theses from the collection of Tomás de Bhaldraithe, Irish scholar and lexicographer.


The collection is organized with correspondence and material relating to Tomás de Bhaldraithe first, followed by correspondence and material relating to Máirtín Ó Cadhain, followed by writing, including theses, by other writers.

Tomás de Bhaldraithe Collection
Hannah Sabal
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556