Libraries and Museums

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Ainsworth, Sir John Francis

Ainsworth, Sir John Francis (1912–81), 3rd baronet, palaeographer, and archivist, was born 4 January 1912 in London, the only son of Thomas Ainsworth, later 2nd baronet, a racehorse breeder and master of various packs of foxhounds in Ireland, and his first wife, Edina Dorothy Hope (…

Anderson, John

Anderson, John (1815–1905), woollen merchant, geologist, bibliographer, and local politician, was born 8 July 1815 near Coleraine, Co. Londonderry. After moving to Belfast he entered (1840) the woollen business in Donegall St. founded by James Young in 1795. Anderson's eminence…

Archer, William

Archer, William (1827–97), naturalist and librarian, was born 6 May 1827 (some sources have 1830), the eldest son of Richard Archer (1796?–1849), perpetual curate of Maghera hamlet, Co. Down, and his wife, Jane Matilda (née Campbell). Nothing is known of his education, though his…

Bell, John

Bell, John (c.1793–1861), antiquary, collector, and landscape painter, was the second son of John Bell, gentleman landowner, of Camelon, near Falkirk, Scotland. It is unclear when he settled in Ireland, but he was contributing articles to local newspapers in Newry, Co. Down…

Best, Richard Irvine

Best, Richard Irvine (1872–1959), Celticist and librarian, was born 17 January 1872 at 3 Bishop St., Derry, son of Henry Best, excise officer, and his wife Margaret Jane (née Irvine), and educated locally at Foyle College. He did not attend university but worked briefly in banking…

Betham, Sir William

Betham, Sir William (1779–1853), archivist and scholar, was born 22 May 1779 at Stradbrooke, Suffolk, eldest surviving son among fourteen children of William Betham (d. 1839), clergyman and antiquary, and Mary Betham (née Damant). He was apprenticed to a printer, was employed to…

Bouhéreau, Élie (Elias)

Bouhéreau, Élie (Elias) (1643–1719), huguenot bibliophile, librarian, cleric, diarist, and administrator, was born 5 May 1643 at La Rochelle, France, son of Élie Bouhéreau, pastor of Fontenay, and Blandine Bouhéreau (née Richard). The family was of the upper middle class. He was…

Bradshaw, Henry

Bradshaw, Henry (1831–86), bibliophile, librarian, and scholar, was born 2 February 1831 at 2 Artillery Place, Finsbury Square, London, third son of Joseph Hoare Bradshaw (d. 1845), a native of Mile Cross, near Newtownards, Co. Down, and a partner in the city banking firm of…

Brown, Stephen James Meredith

Brown, Stephen James Meredith (1881–1962), Jesuit priest, bibliographer, and librarian, was born 24 September 1881 in Holywood, Co. Down, eldest of four children of Stephen James Brown (1853–1931), solicitor and JP, and Catharine Brown (…

Burgoyne, Francis James Powell (‘Frank’)

Burgoyne, Francis James Powell (‘Frank’) (1881–1956), librarian, was born 21 February 1881 at 22 Rosedale Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the son of Francis Thomas Burgoyne, librarian, and Mary Ann Burgoyne (née Powell). Educated at the City of London School and King's…

Carte, Alexander

Carte, Alexander (1805–81), natural historian, was born 11 August 1805 at Newcastle, Co. Limerick, one of two sons of Edward Carte, JP, agent for the Devon estates in Co. Limerick, and Margaret Carte (née Elliot), of Killocrin, Co. Kerry. After…

Carty, James

Carty, James (1900–59), historian, librarian, and bibliographer, was born in Wexford on 7 August 1900, one of the four sons of Francis Carty, a barber, and his wife, Margaret (née Storey). In 1920, while he was still a student at UCD…

Chart, David Alfred

Chart, David Alfred (1878–1960), archivist and historian, was born 13 October 1878 at Lucknow, India, the son of David Chart, who in 1903 was a hotel keeper in Dublin. David Alfred Chart studied at Kilkenny College and Queen's College, Cork, obtaining from the…

Clarke, Desmond

Clarke, Desmond (1907–79), librarian, historian, and writer, was born 2 July 1907 in Dublin, eldest son of John Clarke and Marcella Clarke (née Shaw). His entire career was with the RDS library, which he joined as an assistant in 1925. In…

Conway, Frederick William

Conway, Frederick William (1781/2–1853), journalist and book collector, was the son of Luke Conway, printer of the Connaught Gazette, a pro-government newspaper published at Loughrea, Co. Galway, for some months in 1797. From 1806 to 1812 he was a major contributor to the…

Cotton, Henry

Cotton, Henry (1789–1879), theologian and bibliographer, was born in Bucks., England, son of the Rev. William C. Cotton of Chichley, Berks., educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1811; MA…

Crone, John Smyth

Crone, John Smyth (1858–1945), physician, book collector, and antiquarian, was born 25 November 1858 in Castlereagh Road, Belfast, the eldest son of John and Isabel Crone. He was educated at McClinton's School, the RBAI, and…

Dix, Ernest Reginald McClintock

Dix, Ernest Reginald McClintock (1857–1936), solicitor, book collector, and Irish language enthusiast, was born 8 April 1857 in Dublin, elder son of Henry Thomas Dix (1825–1902), a prominent solicitor, and his wife Emma Patience, daughter of an army officer, Henry McClintock of…

Dixon, Frederick E.

Dixon, Frederick E. (1913–88) meteorologist, historian, and philatelist, was born 27 March 1913 in Oundle, near Peterborough, England, a son of Nathan Dixon and his wife, Edith, née Howitt, who also had another son and a daughter. He attended Deacon's School, Peterborough, and…

Dolley, (Reginald Hugh) Michael

Dolley, (Reginald Hugh) Michael (1925–83), numismatist and historian, was born 6 July 1925 in Oxford, England, the son of A. H. F. Dolley, a civil servant, and Margaret Dolley (née Horgan). His father had Co. Galway antecedents while his mother's were from west Co. Limerick. Michael…

Doran, Charles Guilfoyle

Doran, Charles Guilfoyle (1835–1909), civil engineer, Fenian, and bibliophile, was born on 1 February 1835 at Knockanna, Co. Carlow (not as previously stated at Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow), the first of seven surviving children of John Doran and his wife Mary (née Guilfoyle). He was…

Doyle, Henry Edward

Doyle, Henry Edward (1827–92), artist and gallery director, was born in Dublin, third of seven children and third of five sons of John Doyle (qv), political cartoonist, of Dublin, and Marianna Doyle (née Conan; d. 1832). He was the only…

Fergus, John

Fergus, John (c.1700–1761), doctor of medicine and collector of books and manuscripts, was born in Co. Mayo, where a branch of the Ó Fearghusa family was to be found. His father's name was Mac Raith, and hence Dr Fergus was sometimes referred to in Irish as Seán mac…

Ferguson, Sir Samuel

Ferguson, Sir Samuel (1810–86), poet and archivist, was born 10 March 1810 in Belfast, youngest of six children of John Ferguson, landowner, and his wife Agnes, daughter of John Knox, clockmaker. Ferguson attended the Belfast Academical Institution, and went on to be a student at…

FitzGerald, Desmond John Villiers

FitzGerald, Desmond John Villiers (1937–2011), Knight of Glin , scholar, conservationist, and fine arts dealer and collector, was born 13 July 1937 in Cambridge Square, London, the only son and youngest of three children of Desmond Wyndham Otho FitzGerald, Knight of Glin, of Glin…