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NLI acquires The O’Brien Press publishing archive

Tuesday, 19 December 2023
Ivan O'Brien and Dr Audrey Whitty

Ivan O'Brien and Dr Audrey Whitty

The O’Brien Press marks their fiftieth year with the passing of their company archive to the National Library of Ireland for safe-keeping.

The collection contains thousands of items, including manuscripts, first editions of O’Brien Press titles and pieces of original artwork.  

It has been acquired by the National Library from Ivan O’Brien, whose late father, Michael O’Brien – a powerhouse in the world of publishing in Ireland, as well as internationally – set up the publishing house in 1974.

Celebrating almost 50 years in Irish publishing, the extensive collection runs from 1974 to the end of September 2023. It comprises more than 100 boxes of editorial material, such as annotated manuscripts, texts and related papers, approximately 75,000 items of correspondence and 1,500 pieces of original artwork.

The National Library is delighted to acquire this significant and comprehensive record of Irish writing, publishing and book illustration. It will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, including writers and illustrators, literary scholars and historians.

The O’Brien Press Archive will be available to the public following cataloguing.

Read the full press release