Patrick Ferriter Manuscript Collection


Patrick Ferriter

UCD Library Special Collections holds the Patrick Ferriter Irish Manuscript Collection.

Lámhscríbhinní an Fheiritéaraigh: gearrliosta seiceála / Ferriter manuscripts: checklist by Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail pdf|126 kb


Identity Statement

Reference code IE/UCD/SC/Ferriter mss

Patrick Ferriter Manuscripts.

Dates 1889–1922.

Level of description

39 items.


Patrick Ferriter (1856 - 1924).

Biographical History

  • Patrick Ferriter was born in an Baile Uachtarach on the Dingle peninsula.
  • He collected local songs, poems, stories and folklore. He also copied from other manuscripts which he had on loan.
  • In 1895 he left Ireland for Boston and continued to collect material from Irish speakers he met there.
  • Ferriter also visited the Boston Athenaeum and transcribed material from three Irish language manuscripts that he found there.
  • By 1904 Ferriter had moved to New York, where he edited material for the Irish language column of The Gaelic American
  • He also contributed material to the bilingual journal An Gaodhal. 
  • Ferriter fell sick in the year 1923 and then moved to relatives in Chicago where he died.
  • He bequeathed his entire manuscript collection to Douglas Hyde for the library of the National University of Ireland, Dublin.

Biographical information from Seán Ó Se, 'Pádraig Feiritéar; A shaol agus a shaothar' in the Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society 3 (1970) 116-30.

Source of Acquisition

Donated to UCD Library in 1924.

Scope and Content

  • Thirty-nine volumes of Gaelic manuscript materials, collected or compiled by Patrick Ferriter both in Kerry and the USA. 
  • His sources included printed sources, manuscripts in public and private custody in the USA as well as interviews with Irish speakers in Kerry and in the USA. 
  • The manuscripts include songs and poems, explanations of proverbs in Irish and copies of poems that were published in the two New York Irish newspapers, The Irish American and An Gaodhal. 
  • Ms16 contains stories in Irish collected from the people of Corcha Dhuibhne in the 19th century. 
  • One manuscript is a history of the families of the district, written in a shopkeepers notebook, with lists of customers and groceries also still in the notebook. 
  • Ms19 contains political notes of the Parnellite period including resolutions against priests in Kerry. 
  • The collection also includes 18 volumes of traditional Gaelic manuscripts written by various scribes and collected by Ferriter. 
  • These manuscripts contain popular Munster poetry in Irish, Ossianic verse, religious poetry, prayers, romantic tales in Irish collected by scribes such as Uilliam Ó Hogain, Micheál O’Corcorain, Sean O’Dreada and others. 
  • Ferriter manuscripts 40-42 are privately owned but are available for consultation on microfilm in Special Collections.

Access and Use

The materials in this collection are available by appointment only to research students, teaching staff and scholars. Research students should have a letter of recommendation from their supervisor.

Photocopying or digital photographing of this material is not permitted.

Primarily Irish.

Finding Aid

The material is listed online in Sources: A National Library of Ireland database for Irish research. This search tool is the online version of Hayes, Richard J. (1965) Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation, Boston: Hall, also available in James Joyce Library, Level 2, Ref GR 016/091.

There is also a calendar of these manuscripts available on microfiche.