Irish Research Right Here in Arizona
Millions of people in the U.S. have Irish ancestry, probably the most common U.S. ancestry of any European country. We all know how difficult it can be to do effective Irish research this side of the pond. The next best thing to going to Ireland would be to have a place close to home to do Irish Research.
The Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix would like to welcome Irish researchers to the McClelland Irish Library (MIL) located at 1106 North Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, adjacent to the Irish Cultural Center, in the Margaret T. Hance Park. The library is housed in a replica of a 12th century Norman castle.
Currently the research library is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and also on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Genealogy Librarian Daniela Moneta, CG a professional genealogist is available to help and advise researchers.
The library is home to over 5,000 books including genealogical research subjects and works by Irish authors and poets, in addition to a collection of Irish periodicals. There are several reading rooms and computers to aid in using the library's catalog and databases.
This is also home to an ongoing exhibit of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament created by Celtic monks ca. 800 AD. The original is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library, Dublin.
The McClelland Irish Library is an affiliate of the Phoenix Public Library (PPL) and its holdings can be accessed through their PPL's Public Access Catalog at http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org. To use the catalog, select the advanced search options "Adv. Search" in the blue bar at the upper far right. This will take you to the search screen for the MIL Collection. Type information about the book you want, click "Location+" and select "Irish Cultural Center." Then click Submit.
Four levels of membership are available to the Irish Cultural Center and MIL. A Senior or Student membership is $30, a Friend is $40, Family Membership $75, and a Shamrock Member $150. Membership is encouraged to help further the Center's goal of educating, inspiring and connecting the people of Arizona and the Western U.S. with their Irish and Celtic heritage and culture.
All levels of membership include access and invitations to events, programs and activities, free subscription to electronic newsletters, use of the MIL's resources, services, and genealogical collections, and discounted admission to designated programs and activities for an individual or family depending on membership level selected.
The Center is currently holding a fund raiser to help build the library. Engraved Irish paving stones are available for $500 each. The stones are one foot square and will be arranged near the main entrance where your own personalized message can greet visitors and patrons as they enter the facility. All proceeds will go toward supporting the building and operation of the library.
The Center also includes a gift shop where you can purchase Irish items for yourself or gifts, and an Academy of Irish and Celtic Studies. Here you can take classes and workshops in Irish step dancing, learn to play musical instruments including fiddle, guitar, banjo, and bagpipes, or learn to speak Welsh or Irish, the melodic Gaelic language.
For more information about the Irish Cultural Center, Library or to purchase a personally engraved paving stone visit the Irish Cultural Center websites at http://www.azirish.org/ or http://azirishlibrary.org/.
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29 October 2012