Identity Statement for Robert Dudley Edwards

  • Reference code: IE UCDA LA22
  • Title: Papers of R. Dudley Edwards (1909–88)
  • Dates: 1926–74
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 70 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Biographical History

Born in Dublin, Edwards was educated at St Enda’s, Scoile Bhríde, the Catholic University School and University College Dublin where he was auditor of the Literary & Historical Society. He undertook postgraduate work at the University of London where he met Theo Moody, and was awarded his PhD degree in 1933, published in 1935 asChurch and State in Tudor Ireland. He collaborated with Moody in founding the Irish Historical Society in 1936 and its journal Irish Historical Studies was first published in 1938. The previous year he had been awarded a DLitt by the National University of Ireland and, in 1939, he was appointed to a statutory lectureship in Modern Irish History at University College Dublin. He succeeded Mary Hayden to the Chair in 1944, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. His contribution to the discipline of history in Ireland was substantial. One of his final achievements, and arguably his most significant, was the foundation in 1971 of the UCD Archives (formerly the UCD Archives Department).

Archival History

This collection was deposited in UCD Archives following Dudley Edwards death in 1988.


Scope and Content

Material relating to his undergraduate career at University College Dublin (1926–30) and postgraduate research at the University of London (1930–33); to his appointment to a lectureship (1938) and to the chair (1943) of Modern Irish History in UCD; to the teaching of history in the college and the administration of his department including correspondence with colleagues and students (1936–73); to his involvement with staff representative bodies (1960–71), the Academic Council Committee of Enquiry appointed to report on the background to student disturbances in the college (1968–9), and student societies and organisations including the Students’ Representative Council, the Literary & Historical Society, the History Society and the Irish University History Students’ Association (1930–74).

Material relating to his involvement with historical and scholarly organisations and bodies including

Bureau of Military History (1945–60): the operation and closure of the Bureau.

Irish Manuscripts Commission (1938–69): minutes, reports, correspondence, publication projects, surveys and the work of sub-committees.

Irish Historical Society (1934–72): programmes of meetings and the publication of Irish Historical Studies including records from Edwards’ periods as an officer of the society and joint editor of the journal.

Irish Committee of Historical Sciences (1934–71): minutes and reports, proposals for research and publication projects, the proposed establishment of an institute for historical research, the publication of the Bulletin of the ICHS, and the organisation of the Irish Conference of Historians.

Irish Catholic Historical Committee (1951–74): establishment and organisation; Edwards’ role as secretary; minutes, arrangements for meetings, research and publication projects including publication of Proceedings, surveys of archives, conferences.

Dublin Historical Association (1956–80): minute book of meetings.

Material relating to his role as an expert witness on the historical background to several fisheries cases before the High Court (1928–63); to his various research and lecturing trips abroad, including reports on archives, particularly in Rome (1952) and the United States (1961–2).

200 files of correspondence (1931–73) with individuals, mainly academic contemporaries; orders, congregations and individual religious, both at home and abroad; and with Irish and foreign organisations, associations and bodies including government departments, learned societies, universities, archives services, libraries and publishers.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in microform. Only material to 1971 available.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue