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Trinity College Dublin

British and Atlantic Contexts for the history of Irish publishing and Irish journalism 1750-1920
Directors: Professor David Dickson
               Dr Aileen Douglas
               Dr Charles Benson
Researcher: Dr Johanna Archbold e-mail

The Irish/Scottish and American Print Culture Project is an interdisciplinary endeavour, which forms one strand of the Irish-Scottish research programme, funded by the Higher Education Authority of Ireland. The interdisciplinary nature of the project is reflected in its supervision by an academic partnership between staff in the Schools of History (Professor David Dickson), English (Dr Aileen Douglas) and the Department of Early Printed Books (Dr Charles Benson). The objectives of this project are to consider the comparative publishing histories of Ireland, North American and Scotland, as North Atlantic centres of Anglophone print production between 1700 and 1865.

One of the main aspects of this project is a doctoral thesis by Johanna Archbold, ‘Irish periodicals in their Atlantic context, 1770-1830: The monthly and quarterly magazines of Dublin, Edinburgh and Philadelphia'. This thesis focuses on the development of ninety Irish periodicals (mostly monthly) from 1770-1830. It seeks to analyse their evolution from mere imitators of the successful London periodical formats to distinctly Irish periodicals. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject, providing bibliographic analysis of the group as a whole, as well as literary analysis of their content and historical analysis of the commercial value of periodical to members of the Irish book trade. Particular attention is paid to the longest surviving Irish periodical of the study Walker's Hibernian Magazine (1771-1812). In order to contextualize this material, these are compared to the periodical trades as they developed in Scotland and America, with a focus on the periodical productions of Edinburgh and Philadelphia as they remained the main centres of print in each country. This study concludes with a thematic discussion of the cultural consequences of the monthly periodical format in the Anglophone Atlantic world and suggests that it played an important role in defining national and cultural identities in a way that no other print format of the period could have.

Contact: CISS Last updated: Nov 25 2009.