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Professor David Dickson

David Dickson is Professor Emeritus of Modern History in the Department of History TCD, having retired in 2017 after being associated with the Department throughout his career.  A founding editor of the journal Irish Economic and Social History, he has served as President of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland and of the Irish Historical Society, and was also co-founder of the African Studies Association of Ireland.   He has published extensively on the social, economic and cultural history of Ireland in the long eighteenth century, and on Ireland’s place in the history of European colonialism, and he has supervised more than 30 PhDs in these fields.  He has had a particular interest in the histories of Irish regional development, Irish urbanization and Irish education; he led two PRTLI-funded research programmes (in 1999-2006) exploring the evolution of Irish and Scottish history and literature, a legacy from which is the Trinity Centre of New Irish Studies. Subsequently he was PI of an IRC-funded project on ‘Ireland, Empire and Education’ in 2008-10.

His major publications include the award-winning monograph Old World Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630-1830 (Cork & Madison, 2005); Dublin: The Making of a Capital City (London & Cambridge MA, 2014); and The First Irish Cities: An Eighteenth-Century Transformation (New Haven & London, 2021).  Volumes he has edited include The Outer Edge of Ulster: A Memoir of Social Life in Nineteenth-Century Donegal by Hugh Dorian (Dublin & South Bend IN, 2000), co-edited with Breandán MacSuibhne; 1798: A Bicentenary Perspective (Dublin, 2003), co-edited with Thomas Bartlett, Dáire Keogh & Kevin Whelan; and Irish Classrooms and British Empire: Imperial Contexts in the Origins of Modern Education (Dublin, 2012), co-edited with Justyna Pyz and Christopher Shepard. 

He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2006 and has served on the Council; he also served a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission from 2010 to 2019.

During his time as an Fellow Emeritus in the Long Room Hub, he plans (in collaboration with four co-editors in the U.S. and Ireland) to complete the ‘Moore Letters’ project.  This involves the transcription and editing of a unique private archive of correspondence between members of a bourgeois family based in Derry and Baltimore that runs from 1798 to 1846.   The 830 letters are due to be published in full in 2023.  He will be seeking ways on how best to generate interest and facilitate research into this remarkable and untapped archive, which will be of immediate relevance to researchers working on the history of emigration, gender, Irish and Irish-American politics, travel, medicine and emotion in that period.

News article: Publication in Focus: How Ireland’s First Cities Emerged

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