Honors 190:
Saints and Scholars, Poets and Politicians:  
An Introduction to the KU Irish Collections

Spring 2007
Mondays, 2-3:45 pm
Spencer Research Library 326

Professor Kathryn Conrad
Office hours:  202 Nunemaker, Tuesdays 1-3 pm; other days & times by appointment
Office phone: 4-3314
E-mail (best way to reach me): kconrad @ ku.edu
Course website:  http://people.ku.edu/~kconrad/190s07.html
Blackboard website: https://courseware.ku.edu/webapps/login/?campus_id=1

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Course description:

The University of Kansas has one of the best special collections in Irish materials in the country, including first editions of Yeats and Joyce, political and historical pamphlets, broadsides from the Cuala and Dun Emer presses, nationalist newspapers, and much more. This course will both provide background in the historical, political, and cultural contexts of the core of the Irish collections—the late 19th and early 20th century, often called the "Irish Renaissance"—and allow students hands-on experience with the collections. We will also discuss the value of rare book collections. What is it that is so compelling about direct contact with rare materials? What kinds of intellectual work can be done in such a collection? What is the place of the research library in the university? What is the future of rare books and ephemera in a digital age?

We will explore these issues together and use the Spencer collection for our primary texts and discussion; although I will choose the primary texts to discuss, you will also be able to provide suggestions for texts you'd like to see each week. You will also have the opportunity to pursue your own research in the collections, which you will present on the last day of class. You will be responsible for a written version of your research (5 pages) and an annotated bibliography of five items from the collection, also due on the last day of class.  You will also be responsible for presenting a summary of an article on the topic of archives/special collections.  Your grade will be based on these assignments and on attendance and class participation.  We will also participate in the Honors Tutorial Symposium, which will be held at the end of the semester.

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Other resources:

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Sampling of Irish materials (19th c and earlier).

19th-century materials.

Selected Yeats, Joyce, Cuala Press, and Abbey Theatre materials.

          Selected political pamphlets, newspapers, Land League, 1916 materials.

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