21/12/2011 Minister Deenihan receives literary archive of Irish Nobel laureate Dr Seamus Heaney presented to the National Library of Ireland
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD accompanied by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, officiated at the hand-over of the literary papers of Irish Nobel laureate Dr Seamus Heaney to the National Library of Ireland today Wednesday 21st December 2011, in the Reading Room, National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Dr Heaney is one of four Irish Nobel literature laureates along with WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. The National Library of Ireland already holds the papers of WB Yeats. The main corpus of Shaw papers is in the British Library, while the Beckett papers are in Trinity College Dublin.
Speaking in the Library earlier today Minister Deenihan said that this donation represents a thread of continuity between writers and the Library. “Dr Heaney himself, like many great Irish writers before him, has researched, worked and written in this very reading room. Seamus’s use of the Library as a workspace for both research and creativity calls to mind another great Irish writer – James Joyce – whose life and work have many connections to the National Library.”
Acknowledging the generosity of Dr Heaney, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD stated “this fascinating literary archive, the working papers of Ireland’s greatest living writer, is a fitting addition to the National Library’s manuscript collections. To Seamus Heaney and to Marie Heaney, and to their children Michael, Christopher and Catherine, I say thank you on behalf of the nation for ensuring that these wonderful papers become part of the national collection in the care of the National Library of Ireland.”
The acquisition of the Seamus Heaney literary papers adds immeasurably to the National Library of Ireland’s treasury of literary culture.
In recent years, the Library has acquired the literary papers of several internationally acclaimed Irish writers, including Marina Carr, Roddy Doyle, Paul Durcan, Brian Friel, Hugo Hamilton, John Montague, Colm Tóibín and Edna O’Brien. It also holds the papers of major literary figures such as James Joyce, Maria Edgeworth, George Moore, Kate O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh, Brendan Behan, Benedict Kiely, Christy Brown and James Plunkett.