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James Cassedy Book Collection

Date range: 1661-1942

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 1,200 items.

This collection was formed by Séamus Ó Casaide (James Cassedy) (1877–1943), the Celtologist and bibliographer, and purchased by the John Rylands Library in 1945 to 1946. Ó Casaide was a significant figure in the Irish cultural revival, and contributed over four hundred articles, principally on bibliography and Irish-language writers, to a variety of journals. He was known as Ó Casaide by 1905 at the latest.

There are some two hundred periodicals, Dublin and provincial newspapers, directories, almanacs and chapbooks. The books, which include some exceedingly rare titles, date mainly from the late 18th century onwards. Subjects covered include genealogy, local history, both the Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths, Gaelic dictionaries, grammars and texts, Anglo-Irish verse and prose, natural history and topography.

Ó Casaide’s particular interest was the development of the various societies that were founded during the 19th century to promote interest in Irish language and culture. There are pamphlets and periodicals from such bodies as the Gaelic Society of Dublin, the Gaelic Union of Dublin, and the Gaelic League, as well as popular journals such as The Dublin Penny Journal. There is a special section devoted to the publications of the Irish scholar and schoolmaster, Patrick Lynch (1754–1818), who was Secretary of the Gaelic Society of Dublin.

Further information:

  • Recorded in Library Search.
  • Bookseller’s catalogue available via Special Collections reading rooms.

Other information:

Vincent Morley, ‘Ó Casaide, Séamus (Cassedy, James)’, in Dictionary of Irish Biography, ed. by James McGuire and James Quinn, 9 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), VII, p. 166.


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