The Irish American Heritage Center’s Library opened its doors to the public in January 2006. The library includes books, periodicals, newspapers and audiovisual materials that focus on every aspect of Irish and Irish American life.
One of the physical highlights of the library is the literary border, designed and hand painted by artist Edward Cox and researched by Peg Reid. The border wraps around the ceiling and includes names of well-known writers of Irish descent: Arthur Conan Doyle, William Faulkner, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, Sean O’Casey, Edgar Allen Poe, George Bernard Shaw, John Steinbeck, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Brendan Behan, Sean O’Casey, Flannery O’Connor, Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis, Henry James, Joyce Kilmer, John Steinbeck, Veronica Guerin, Maeve Brennan, Ellen Berlin, Dorothy Day, Alice McDermott, Joyce Carol Oates, Jack London and more.
It serves as an invaluable way of learning about Irish and Irish American leaders who established academic institutions, founded movements and spread ideas that have impacted Irish American culture forever.
- Archival Rare Book Collection that includes a facsimilie edition of the Book of Kells, Lindisfarne, Annals of Ireland and the Chief O’Neill musical anthologies
- Genealogy Collection, plus ongoing free genealogy sessions
- Dennis Watson Musical Collection of CDs and Sheet Music from 1850 to 1950
- Eileen McNulty Poetry Collection from Kennys in Galway
- Emmett Larkin Collection on the Church of Ireland
- Liam MacGabhann Celtic Language Collection that includes books and audiovisuals
Irish American Heritage Center Great Irish Books Club
Through May 2016
On the last Sunday of most months, we gather to discuss Irish and Irish American writers. We charge no fees and don’t require perfect attendance. For more information, contact Moderator Virginia Gibbons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 27 Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly
January 31 A History of Loneliness by John Boyne
February 28 Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan
March 27 Philomena by Martin Sixsmith
April 24 Time for Frankie Coolin by Bill Granger
May 29 Faithful Place by Tana French
Tueaday and Thursday 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 4pm to 8pm
Saturday 10am to 2pm
The Library will be closed from December 22-January 3, with the exception of December 27 from 1pm to 4pm for Book Club and Genealogy. We will also be open from 10am to 2pm on December 29.
Please note that the monthly genealogy sessions meet only on the last Sunday of each month. Can’t make a session? Call the Library to make an appointment.
The Library is expanding its access to the collection of Irish materials. There is a great need for new equipment, such as two desktop computers and two laptops. A monetary donation or an equipment donation is most welcome. This will allow the staff to enter its materials and collection to have it available on the IAHC website.
If you wish to honor someone in your life on their graduation, birthday, anniversary or as a memorial, you may make a monetary donation to the library and the staff will purchase a book on Irish studies in a field of your choosing. A name plate will be placed in the book in honor of the individual . Make your check to: IAHC Library and mail it to Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630, or call 773-282-7035, ext. 19.