Eoin McKiernan Library

EML Director Update, November 2020

Since our July update, the McKiernan Library volunteers and I completed processing of book donations that came in over the summer, moved closer to completion of our video digitization project and held a successful book sale as part of the Celtic Junction’s Fall Outdoor Concert Weekend. Our catalogued book collection has now reached 5189 items and the shelves in our reading room are very full! 

Much of our work in October was in support of the Celtic Junction Arts Center’s annual fundraiser event which was a smashing success!  Thanks to all who chipped in by making testimonial videos, doing interviews, recording music and donating during our first ever livestream-a-thon. We were overwhelmed with the support for The McKiernan Library along with the Celtic Junction Arts Center’s other program areas. Special thanks to the community member who put up the incredible $100,000 challenge fund and to all those that brought us over 60% of the way to that goal in the space of one day (we have until fall 2021 to reach the goal).

The following are updates on McKiernan Library projects:

Digitization Project: Eoin McKiernan’s 1960s TV Programs

In October, our video digitization vendor, Quad Tape Transfer, completed archival digitization of our remaining 43 master tapes of Dr. McKiernan’s 1960s television programs “Ireland Rediscovered” and “Irish Diary.” We were delighted to find that all 43 tapes were playable!  Combined with the six, previously digitized tapes, we now have an archive of 49 out of 53 groundbreaking programs produced by Dr. McKiernan in the early ‘60s. We are in hot pursuit of the missing four programs and working to make the whole collection accessible soon.

This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.

Brian Miller and Jim Tarbox

New McKiernan Library Promotional Content 

The annual Celtic Junction Arts Center fundraiser held entirely online in October provided an incentive for the McKiernan Library to create new video content describing the library’s work, impact on the community and plans for the future. Testimonial videos were created by Dáithí Sproule, Ethna McKiernan, Kate Daly, Julia Rogers and Mary McNeive. McKiernan Library volunteer and CJAC board member Jim Tarbox sat with me (Library Director Brian Miller) for an extended interview.In addition, CJAC Media Manager Carillon RoseMeadows worked with me on a new, detailed About page for the library’s web page. This page explains in detail the EML’s collections and projects along with a section on doing research at the library.

New Books Catalogued

Thanks to hours of hard work by McKiernan Library volunteers Maggie Sullivan, Michaela Corniea and Jim Tarbox we were able to process the bulk of the book donations that came in over the summer months. Numbering almost 200 books, these included dozens of books donated by Keegan’s Irish Pub after their closing as well as books from Tom Jeffers, John Davenport, the McKiernan family, Bob Sullivan, Jane Kennedy and the publisher Midwest Villages & Voices. Thanks to everyone who donated books and to our volunteers for cataloging, labeling, installing security strips and shelving!

Brendan Mulkere

Connecting Through Social Media

We continued to share photos and other content from our archival collection on social media over the past few months. In August, we connected with Irish musicians in Ireland and London after the passing of the renowned fiddle player and teacher Brendan Mulkere who was born in Clare and lived most of his life in London. One of the VHS tapes in our archive is a 1986 RTÉ TV program presented by Mulkere from the Fleadh Nua in Ennis. Sharing a clip of Mulkere’s playing from that program led to many messages from his family, friends and students who were thankful for the footage during their time of grief.