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Elizabethanne Boran

Research Interests

My principal research interest is in the history of ideas in the early modern period, with particular reference to the seventeenth century. My edition of the correspondence of James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh from 1625-1656, was published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission in 2015. I am, therefore, naturally interested in editing seventeenth-century collections and exploring scholarly friendship networks in the early modern period. As the Irish member for the International Commission for the History of Universities I am committed to the study of curriculum and universities and am particularly interested in the interplay of science and religion in early modern Europe. I am also continuing my work on the history of libraries, both from a history of ideas perspective and, increasingly, from the point of view of the book as material object, given the wonderful resources of the Edward Worth Library where I work.  

Selected Publications:

  • Elizabethanne Boran et al., ‘Letters’ and ‘Assembling Metadata’ in Howard Hotson and Thomas Wallnig (eds), Reassembling the Republic of Letters in the Digital Age. Standards, Systems, Scholarship (Göttingen University Press 2019).
  • Elizabethanne Boran (ed.), Book Collecting in Ireland and Britain, 1650-1850 (Four Courts Press, 2018).
  • Pieter Dhondt and Elizabethanne Boran (eds), Student Revolt, City, and Society in Europe. From the Middle Ages to the Present (Routledge, 2018).
  • Elizabethanne Boran and Mordechai Feingold (eds), Reading Newton in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2017).
  • Elizabethanne Boran, Correspondence of James Ussher, 1600-1656 (Irish Manuscript Commission, 2015), 3 vols.
  • Elizabethanne Boran, Aldines at the Edward Worth Library (Dublin: Trustees of the Edward  Worth Library, 2015).
  • Elizabethanne Boran and Crawford Gribben (eds.) Enforcing the Reformation in Ireland and Scotland: 1550-1700, (St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History: Ashgate, 2006).


  • ‘Buying and Selling Medical Books in early eighteenth-century Dublin’, Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 32 (2017), 105-135.
  • ‘A Cloud of Witnesses’: Scientific Observation in the Correspondence of James Ussher (1581-1656), in Dirk van Miert (ed), Communicating Observations in Early Modern Letters (1500-1675). Epistolography and Epistemology in the Age of the Scientific Revolution (Warburg Institute, 2013), pp 179-97.
  • ‘Book-borrowing in Trinity College in the early eighteenth century’ in W.E. Vaughan (ed.), The Old Library, Trinity College Dublin 1712-2012 (Four Courts Press, 2013), pp 79-87.
  • ‘The Sceptical Collector: Alchemy and Chemistry in Early Modern Irish Medical Libraries’, in Danielle Westerhof (ed.) The Alchemy of Medicine and Print (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2010), pp 75-88.
  • ‘Writing History in seventeenth-century Ireland: Dudley Loftus’ Annals’ in Muriel McCarthy and Ann Simmons (eds) in Marsh’s Library: A Mirror on the World (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2009), pp 203-33.
  • ‘Ussher and the collection of manuscripts in early modern Europe’ in Jason Harris and Keith Sidwell (eds) Making Ireland Roman: Irish Neo-Latin writers and the Republic of Letters (Cork University Press, 2009), pp 176-194.
  • ‘A Third Reformation? ‘Persecution and Oppression’ in seventeenth-century Kilkenny’ in Old Kilkenny Review 59 (2007), 52-68.
  • ‘Libraries and Collectors, 1550-1700’ in Raymond Gillespie and Andrew Hadfield (eds) The History of the Book in Ireland: Volume III (Oxford, 2006), pp 91-110.
  • ‘Malignancy and the reform of the University of Oxford in the mid seventeenth century’ in History of Universities XVII (2001-2), 19 – 45.
  • ‘Ramism in Trinity College, Dublin from 1592 to 1641’ in Mordechai Feingold, Joseph S. Freedman and Wolfgang Rother (eds.) The Influence of Petrus Ramus (Basle, 2001), pp 178-201.

Teaching and Supervision

For ten years I taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department of History, TCD, mainly on the history of ideas in seventeenth-century Europe. I currently teach on a ‘History of Medicine’ module for first year medical students.

Contact Details

Dr Elizabethanne Boran,
The Edward Worth Library (1733),
Dr. Steevens’ Hospital,
Dublin 8.
Tel: 00 353 (0) 1 635 2215