Celebrating Dr. Eoin McKiernan

Eoin McKiernan
Long, heavy red velvet red ribbon is draped in front of wooden French doors, tied off in an extravagant bow to dissuade the curious. It's an inviting entrance surrounded by a painted ornaments name above and tiffany style lamps on either side.
The McKiernan Library opened its doors on April 22, 2017.

The Celtic Junction Arts Center’s Eoin McKiernan Library celebrates the legacy of Irish Studies pioneer and prolific promoter of Irish culture Eoin McKiernan. Founded on the McKiernan family’s gift of 3000 books from his own library, the collection reflects McKiernan’s deep passion for Irish history and politics, the Irish language, folklore, literature and Irish arts.

The McKiernan Library also works to serve the interests of the Irish-American community of Minnesota with a special focus on the Irish arts that are central to the Celtic Junction Arts Center community.

About Dr. McKiernan

Dr. McKiernan was an iconic champion of Irish culture in America and, 50 years ago, was the founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI). Through the work of the IACI, he earned international recognition. The Irish Times named him “The U.S. Champion of Irish culture and history.” Thomas McCarthy, Irish novelist, poet, and critic, said of Dr. McKiernan,

At a time when the presence of Ireland, its memory and influence, might have faded away and been forgotten in the MidWest he dedicated his life and his academic career to rescue and celebrate the memory of an entire Celtic way of life. Eoin knew something that very few people now know; he knew that the Irish past was a very deep part of that beautiful sense of American belonging. He worked for his entire life to illuminate this sense of belonging in Minnesota.

In addition to his work through the IACI, Dr. McKiernan held a Ph.D. in Literature and was Chair of the English Department at the State University of New York and College of St. Thomas, Minnesota. He was the curator of Irish Books and Media.

This is an internationally significant collection and an important repository of Irish-related literary work and scholarship.

CJAC is honored to house this unique resource for all students of Irish literary arts, history, and culture and to make it accessible to the public.