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John J. Burns Library Events


Cambridge History of Ireland

Cambridge History of Ireland launch at Boston College

Thursday, September 20

John J. Burns Library

Student/Faculty Discussion 4:30-5:30pm

Reception 6:00-7:00pm

Program 7:00-7:45pm

For driving directions and to add this event to your calendar, please see the event listing on our campus calendar. For parking and other campus information, please refer to the University's Admissions site. We recommend parking in the Commonwealth Garage or on Commonwealth Avenue if parking is not available on Linden Lane next to Burns Library.

If you would like more information about this and other of our events or would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact

Please feel free to download and share our event flyer and press release below. We also welcome you to download a copy of Liz O'Donnell's keynote address.

The Cambridge History of Ireland

Written by a team of more than 100 leading historians from 38 institutions around the world, the Cambridge History of Ireland is the most comprehensive and authoritative history of Ireland yet attempted. Vibrant, comprehensive, and accessible, it presents the Irish story – or stories – from 600 to the present. Four comprehensive volumes bring together the latest scholarship, setting Irish history within broader Atlantic, European, imperial and global contexts. Contributors include Boston College historians Kevin Kenny and Robert Savage and several Burns Visiting Scholars, including Guy Beiner, Paul Bew, Alvin Jackson, Ciaran O’Neill, Colmán Ó Clabaigh, OSB, and Thomas Bartlett, who served as general editor for the project. Bartlett had previously published a popular single-volume history of Ireland in 2010.

The Boston College launch is part of a US tour that will include events at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House and the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, the latter keynoted by former Vice President Joe Biden. Click the following links for coverage of launch events held at Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast, and Dublin City University. Articles and reviews of the Cambridge History of Ireland have been featured in various media.

The Boston College launch reception and program are free of charge and no advance registration is required. All are welcome.

Copies of the Cambridge History of Ireland will be on sale at the event at a 20% discount. Free shipping will also be available.

Student/Faculty Discussion with Editors

From 4:30-5:30pm in the Burns Library Fine Print Room, Boston College professor of history Robert Savage and Cambridge History of Ireland contribution will host a discussion with the volume editors on Irish history and the production of the four-volume work with Boston College students and faculty.


Wine, beer, and light refreshments will be served from 6:00-7:00pm in the Burns Library Irish Room.


The program will begin at 7:00pm with welcoming remarks and overview of the Cambridge History of Ireland by general editor, Thomas Bartlett. Liz O’Donnell will give a keynote address in which she reflects on the Northern Ireland peace process, the advancement of women in Ireland, and social progress. A concluding panel discussion will include an audience Q&A with O’Donnell and the four volume editors.


Liz O’Donnell, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1997-2002, was a member of the Irish government’s negotiating team in the multi-party talks that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Since leaving public office in 2007, she has worked in the media, as a public affairs consultant, and as chairperson of the Road Safety Authority in Ireland, and since 2017 as Director of Policy Communications and Government Affairs at MSD (Human Health) Ireland.

We welcome you to download a copy of Liz O'Donnell's keynote address:


Volume editors

Thomas Bartlett, general editor, and editor, Volume 4, 1880 to the Present

Professor Emeritus of Irish History at the University of Aberdeen

James Kelly, editor, Volume 3, 1730–1880

Professor of History, School of History and Geography, Dublin City University

Jane Ohlmeyer, editor, Volume 2, 1550–1730

Erasmus Smith's Professor of Modern History, Trinity College Dublin

Brendan Smith, editor Volume 1, 600–1550

Professor of Medieval History, University of Bristol

Volume editors James Kelly, Jane Ohlmeyer, Brendan Smith, and Thomas Bartlett at the Trinity College Dublin launch event.

Volume editors James Kelly, Jane Ohlmeyer, Brendan Smith, and Thomas Bartlett at the Trinity College Dublin launch event.


The Boston College launch of the Cambridge History of Ireland is sponsored by the Boston College Libraries, the Global Leadership Institute, Boston College, and Cambridge University Press, in collaboration with the Boston College Center for Irish Programs and Consul General of Ireland in Boston.