Tom Murphy Papers Acquired by Trinity College Library

Posted on: 05 October 2001

Trinity College Library is delighted to announce the acquisition of the papers of the celebrated playwright Tom Murphy. The papers include numerous drafts and revisions of his plays, novels and short stories, correspondence relating to his work and a comprehensive collection of theatre programmes of performances of his plays.

“The particular value of the collection lies in the great quantity of drafts and revisions which Tom Murphy worked on over a period. These allow us to trace the development of his works through manuscript to typescript to final text. In the case of The Sanctuary Lamp, for example, there are 21 separate drafts, dating between 1973 and 1984. The play was originally entitled A Trinity of Jesus Freaks/A Couple of Jesus Freaks,” explained Dr Bernard Meehan, Keeper of Manuscripts.

“We are very pleased indeed to add the rich and varied papers of acclaimed writer Tom Murphy to our existing collection of manuscripts of famous Irish writers,” Dr Meehan continued.

An exhibition of aspects of Tom Murphy’s papers opened on Friday 5 October in the Long Room of Trinity College Library and will be on display until the end of the month. The exhibition focuses on the six works which make up the current season of Tom Murphy plays at the Abbey Theatre – A Whistle in the Dark; The Gigli Concert; Famine; The Morning After Optimism; The Sanctuary Lamp; and Bailegangaire.