Gathering the Sons, Daughters, and Enthusiasts of Erin

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Claire Wang

Recently, the New York Times released their 46 recommended travel destinations for 2013. At first glance, the featured activities on this list are as varied as the locations in question. Descriptions boast attractions and amusements that range from brand-new museums and medieval taverns to casinos, hiking trails, and dining options in regions around the world.

Hiking in Ireland

One location in particular stands out. Although Ireland is not an uncommon travel destination for American tourists, this country has made the New York Times' list because of a year-long program called The Gathering. According to the website, the affair will "showcase and share the very best of Irish culture, tradition, business, sport, fighting spirit and the uniquely Irish sense of fun." Everyone who is interested in Ireland and Irish culture is welcome to partake, but organizers are especially enthusiastic about reaching the "70 million people worldwide [who] claim Irish ancestry"—which runs the gamut of "those who have moved away, their relatives, friends and descendants"—and "[inviting] them home."

City Lights in IrelandAs a Social Science and History librarian, I find that the subject of Ireland never slips off my radar. Customers who wish to undertake either physical or intellectual journeys regularly request materials on Irish history, travel guides, and genealogy. Regardless of whether programs like The Gathering inspire you to plan a trip to Ireland, or to read about Ireland and the Irish American experience, the Pratt Library has a number of resources that may be of interest.

Newer titles in our collection about Irish History and Irish Americans include The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City, Looking for Jimmy: a Search for Irish America, The Irish-American in Popular Culture, 1945-2000, Irish Immigrants, and The Irish Americans: a History, as well as classics such as The Course of Irish History and The Story of the Irish Race.

Popular family history items include A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, and Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide. Family historians may also wish to browse the records of Ellis Island, which has digitized all passenger manifests generated during the years the facility operated as an immigrant processing center. You can also read about Annie Moore, a fifteen year-old Irish girl who earned the distinction of being the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the items in our travel collection, which includes copies of Lonely Planet Ireland, Rick Steves’ Ireland, and Fodor’s Ireland 2011, as well as a number of Dublin city guides.

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