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Prof. John A. Murphy's Lost Manuscript

8 Mar 2010

John A's Lost Manuscript

The Desmond Survey, a lost manuscript of Professor John A. Murphy’s, was recently launched online at the Irish Conference of Historians in Limerick. Originally transcribed for publication in 1960s but never put in press, this is a large survey of County Kerry which the crown undertook following the death of the earl of Clancarty in 1596. Upgraded from old galley proofs by researcher Emer Purcell, it is now online at CELT complete with splendid maps of the MacCarthy lordship.

Also being launched is a transcription of The Discovery and Recovery of Ireland by John McGurk, another veteran of the Irish historical establishment. This proposal for the reconquest of Ireland in the 1597 was written by Captain Thomas Lee, a remarkable intriguer of the period and the subject of a famous portrait in the Tate Gallery. CELT now has all three of Lee’s writings about Ireland from the period online – another first.


CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts, in the Department of History, is foremost of Ireland's digitisation projects. Located at UCC since 1996, this searchable interdisciplinary online corpus of multilingual texts of Irish literature, history, and politics has been a pioneer in TEI-conformant XML text encoding. CELT is directed by the historian, Dr Hiram Morgan, who is assisted by project manager, Beatrix Faerber. Serving both academic purposes and the wider community, CELT has 12 million words in Irish, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, English, Spanish and German in 1050 texts (with bibliographies) from all periods - and it still is growing. The unique website   receives some 25,000 requests for pages per day and as such is the single biggest website on the UCC server - . The CELT website was the first of its kind in Ireland, and the ninth in the world, in 1991.

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