Guide to the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh Records, 1959-1977 AIS.1977.22

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh Records
Creator
Gaelic Arts Society (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Collection Number
AIS.1977.22
Date
1955-2018
Extent
1.7 linear feet (1 records center box, 1 microfilm reel)
Abstract
This collection contains the records of the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh from the period of 1955 to 2018. It includes a wide array of materials related to the business of the society’s Board of Governors, events and programs hosted or sponsored by the society, its finances, membership records, newsletters, and correspondences, as well as materials related to other cultural organizations and institutions.

Preferred Citation

Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh Records, AIS.1977.22, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

Rev. Brother Dominic Reardon C.S.Sp., a member of Duquesne University’s administrative staff and native of Dublin, Ireland, founded the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh in 1955, in response to an enquiry from the Women’s Intercultural Group of the Oakland YMCA for someone able to write a prayer and menu in Irish-Gaelic. The society’s goal is the promotion of the rich legacy of the history, literature, traditions, and crafts of the Irish people to all Western Pennsylvanians with an interest in Irish culture, with its membership not limited solely to Irish Americans or native Irish. It aims further to promote a consciousness of the influences of Irish thought and action on the advancement of American ideals.

Throughout its history, the society has been deeply involved within the Pittsburgh Irish community, holding various events including lectures on various aspects of Irish culture, banquets, St. Patrick’s Day parades, as well as promoting the events of other organizations such as the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater and the Pittsburgh Irish Festival. Their banquets and programs on Irish culture have hosted eminent Irish historians as well as former Irish ambassadors and diplomats. In 1963, Rev. Brother Reardon and several other members of the society were received by the third President of the Republic of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, at Áras an Uachtarain in Dublin, as part of the society’s annual “Tour to Ireland”.

During the 1970’s and early 1980's, the society sponsored and organized the “Pittsburgh Irish Fortnight”, a program of Irish cultural lectures and events, in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh and the Irish American Cultural Institute, a cultural organization directly affiliated with the President of Ireland. In addition to a concert presented by the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish Fortnight hosted annually noted Irish artists, academics, and politicians as guest speakers.

Notable society members have included 37th Governor of Pennsylvania, David L. Lawrence, Henry X. O’Brien, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and James W. Knox, former Allegheny County controller. The society held a peak membership of approximately 530 members by 1990. Despite a decline in membership, the society continues to function into the present day, organizing educational and celebratory functions related to Ireland as well as publishing a monthly newsletter, The Gazette. Its cultural programs have similarly come to encompass selective topics in the culture of the “Celtic nations” in general, including that of Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and the Isle of Man.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains the records of the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh from the period of 1955 to 2018. Its contents are generally related to the society’s promotion of Irish culture through various programs and events, as well as the history of the society itself and its routine business.

It includes a wide array of materials related to the business of the society’s Board of Governors, events and programs hosted or sponsored by the society and its finances, membership records, newsletters, and correspondences, as well as materials related to other cultural organizations and institutions. The collection also contains a digitized copy of the society’s scrapbook, within which are materials related to the society’s activities and members from the late 1950’s to the late 1970’s.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged into nine series:

Series I. Board of Governors, 1955-2018

Series II. Events & Programs, 1960-2017

Series III. Financial, 1957-2018

Series IV. Membership Records, 1962-2017

Series V. Newsletters, The Gazette, 2005-2018

Series VI. Other Organizations, 2002-2015

Series VII. Topical Folders, 1960-2018

Series VIII. Realia, undated

Series IX. Scrapbook, 1959-1977

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 1977

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 Additional materials incorporated into finding aid. February 2020

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Acquisition Information

The scrapbook was originally microfilmed by the Archives of Industrial Society from originals in possession of the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh, June 1977.

Additional records were donated by The Gaelic Arts Society, through their President, Wilma Gaughan in 2018.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Archives Service Center Staff in June, 1977.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Dan Horvath in July, 2003. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 1374689

Additions were processed by Zach Braddock in January and February 2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original scrapbook retained by The Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Additional collections at the Archives Service Center pertaining to local Irish-American organizations include:

Irish Centre of Pittsburgh Records, AIS.1977.25, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Daughters of Erin Court #9 Records, AIS.1977.31, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Gaelic Arts Society (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Genre(s)

  • Programs (Documents)
  • Scrapbooks

Personal Name(s)

  • Knox, James, 1919-2002

Subject(s)

  • Art and popular culture -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Arts -- Pennsylvania
  • Arts -- Pennsylvania -- Societies -- Celtic
  • Arts -- Pennsylvania -- Societies -- Gaelic
  • Arts -- Pennsylvania -- Societies -- Irish
  • Arts -- Pennsylvania -- Societies, etc.
  • Ethnic groups
  • Irish -- Pennsylvania
  • Irish -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Irish Americans -- Pennsylvania -- Societies and clubs
  • Pennsylvania -- Events -- Irish festival
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Events -- Irish festival
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Events -- Irish Fortnight
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Events -- St. Patrick's Day
  • Societies
  • Societies -- Ireland and Northern Ireland

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Previous Citation

Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh Records, AIS.1977.22, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Board of Governors, 1955-2018 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains primarily the minutes of the society’s Board of Governors’ monthly meetings during the years 1960 to 2018 (with significant gaps in between), several of the Board’s correspondences, election returns for the year 1964, and a list of its members and officers during the period of 1955 to 1990.

  BoxFolder
Correspondence, 1964-2016 11
  Folder
Election Returns, 1964 2
  Folder
List of Officers and Members, 1955-1990 3
  Folder
Minutes, 1960 4
  Folder
Minutes, 1964 5
  Folder
Minutes, 2000 6
  Folder
Minutes, 2001 7
  Folder
Minutes, 2002 8
  Folder
Minutes, 2003 9
  Folder
Minutes, 2004 10
  Folder
Minutes, 2005 11
  Folder
Minutes, 2006 12
  Folder
Minutes, 2007 13
  Folder
Minutes, 2008 14
  Folder
Minutes, 2010 15
  Folder
Minutes, 2011 16
  Folder
Minutes, 2012 17
  Folder
Minutes, 2013 18
  Folder
Minutes, 2014 19
  Folder
Minutes, 2015 20
  Folder
Minutes, 2016 21
  Folder
Minutes 2017 22
  Folder
Minutes, 2018 23
  Folder
Rosters, 2000-2013 24

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Series  II. Events & Programs, 1960-2017 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains programs, committee reports, fliers, and brochures pertaining to some of the events sponsored by the society from 1960 to 2017. These events range from various celebratory functions honoring St. Patrick to guest lectures on both Irish and broadly Celtic culture.

  BoxFolder
An Evening of Fellowship with the Gaels, 1985 125
  Folder
40th Anniversary Mass, 1995 26
  Folder
60th Anniversary Banquet (“Honoring St. Patrick”), 2016 27
  Folder
Annual Luncheon, 1960-2014 28
  Folder
Annual Meeting, 2004 29
  Folder
Presentation on Brittany, undated 30
  Folder
Christmas Party, 1995 31
  Folder
Event Calendar, 2016-2017 32
  Folder
Fashion Show, 2000 33
  Folder
Generic Funeral Home Memorial, undated 34
  Folder
High Tea, 2004 35
  Folder
History - Notecards from a Presentation, undated 36
  Folder
Irish Theatre & the Abbey Theatre, 2007 37
  Folder
Irish-Gaelic Poetry (Program), undated 38
  Folder
“An Irish Wake”, 2016 39
  Folder
The Isle of Manx, undated 40
  Folder
Knox, James W. (in honor of), 2002 41
  Folder
Luncheon Lists, 2001-2015 42
  Folder
Memorial Mass and Service for Deceased Members, 2014-2017 43
  Folder
Miller, Kathleen Marie Rooney (1955-1987), 1987 44
  Folder
Moya Brennan (“The Voice of Clannad”), 2017 45
  Folder
Notifications of Events and Meetings, c. 2001-2016 46
  Folder
Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, 2003-2007 47
  Folder
Pittsburgh Irish Festival, 2007 48
  Folder
Poetry of Ireland, 2007 49
  Folder
Program Committee, 1961-2015 50
  Folder
Program Schedule, 1995-2008 51
  Folder
Program Suggestions, c. 2016 52
  Folder
Sketches of Ireland (Organ and Vocal Music), 1988 53
  Folder
Speakers, undated 54
  Folder
St. Patrick (notes on), c. 2008 55
  Folder
St. Patrick’s Day Banquet/Dinner, 1974-2006 56
  Folder
St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 1999-2002 57
  Folder
Alan Stanford, undated 58
  Folder
Tartan Day, 2008 59
  Folder
Tour to Ireland, 1963 60

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Series  III. Financial, 1957-2018 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains documents related to the society’s routine finances including various notes, correspondences, treasurer’s reports, balances, expense reports, and budgets from the period of 1957 to 2018, with significant gaps in this timeline.

  BoxFolder
Budget Planning, 2011 161
  Folder
Estate of Margaret E. Maloney, 2003 62
  Folder
Financial Correspondence, 1957-1960 63
  Folder
Financial Correspondence, 2000-2016 64
  Folder
Membership Subscriptions/Dues, 1957-1959 65
  Folder
Financial Notes, c. 1963-2017 66
  Folder
Proposed Budgets, 2013-2015 67
  Folder
Financial Statements, 1956-1964 68
  Folder
Income and Expense Reports, 2015-2018 69
  Folder
Treasurer’s Reports, 2013-2015 70

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Series  IV. Membership Records, 1962-2017 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains membership rosters, brochures, and application materials.

  BoxFolder
History, Constitution & Roster (Booklets), 1969 171
  Folder
Membership Applications and Due Notices (Blank), c. 2002 72
  Folder
Membership Brochures, c. 2014 73
  Folder
Membership Changes, 2016 74
  Folder
New Members List, 2011 75
  Folder
Membership Roster Notebooks, 1962-1964 76
  Folder
Membership Rosters, 2004-2012 77
  Folder
Obituary, Earl McCabe, 2015 78
  Folder
Obituary, Elizabeth Woodland, 2017 79

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Series  V. Newsletters, The Gazette,  2005-2018 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains issues of the society’s monthly newsletter from the period of 2005 to 2018, The Gazette. The newsletter contains messages from the society’s president to its membership, program schedules, as well as articles on various topics related to Irish history and culture.

  BoxFolder
The Gazette,  2005-2010 180
  Folder
The Gazette,  2011-2015 81
  Folder
The Gazette,  2016-2018 82

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Series  VI. Other Organizations, 2002-2015 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains the brochures, financial correspondences, and publications of various organizations either sponsored by the society or centered around topics related to Irish or Celtic culture in general.

  BoxFolder
Community College of Allegheny County, Course, 2009 183
  Folder
The Corrymeela Community, 2002 84
  Folder
Irish American Archives Society of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, 2014-2015 85
  Folder
St. David’s Society of Pittsburgh, 2014 86
  Folder
University of Pittsburgh, Nationality Rooms Program, c. 2007-2011 87

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Series  VII. Topical Folders, 1960-2018 

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of topical folders which contain society correspondences (the bulk of which originate from various society presidents), business-related materials, graphic designs for varied uses, several undated photographs, and two CD’s containing a 2015 recording of the WEDO radio show “Echoes of Erin”. Other folders contain narrative texts, sheet music, and information about Irish culture.

  BoxFolder
Basic Facts About Ireland and Northern Ireland, 2013 188
  Folder
Business Cards, 2005 89
  Folder
Bylaws Revisions, c. 2016 90
  Folder
Correspondence, 1996-2018 91
  Folder
Correspondence to Members from President, 1990-2010 92
  Folder
“Echoes of Erin” Radio Show, (Audio Discs), September 6, 2015    2.0 CDs 93
  Folder
Insurance, 2001-2016 94
  Folder
Inventory of Equipment, 2004-2017 95
  Folder
Letterhead (Blank), c. 2005 96
  Folder
Logo Designs, undated 97
  Folder
Narrative Texts - (Jokes), undated 98
  Folder
Photographs, undated 99
  Folder
Presidential Medallion, 1960 100
  Folder
Sheet Music, undated 101
  Folder
Web Page Designs, undated 102

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Series  VIII. Realia, undated    3.0 items

Scope and Contents note

This series contains three medallions suspended by white ribbon, illustrated with a clover leaf, campfire, and crozier, and emblazoned with the word “TARA”. These medals were most likely presented to recipients of the Tara Award, honoring certain members of the Daughters of Erin, Court #9, the women’s auxiliary of the Knights of Equity, an Irish Catholic Fraternal organization.

  BoxItem
"Tara" Medallion undated 11
  Item
"Tara" Medallion undated 2
  Item
"Tara" Medallion undated 3

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Series  IX. Scrapbook, 1959-1977    1.0 microfilm reel

This scrapbook contains photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondences, pamphlets and brochures pertaining to the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh’s events and members from 1959 to 1977. A significant portion of the newspaper clippings within the scrapbook relate to profiles of the society by the press as well as Don McNamara’s “The Irish in Pittsburgh” newspaper column. Programs represented within the scrapbook include the society’s various Tours to Ireland, St. Patrick Day Parades, banquets, the 1968 “An Evening of Irish Fashions” show, the 1974 to 1977 occurrences of the “Pittsburgh Irish Fortnight”, 1975 Memorial Mass for third President of the Republic of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, as well as other speaking events organized by the society, including those hosting several diplomats and ambassadors of the Republic of Ireland. It further includes a transcript of a speech given by former Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Ireland and Teachta Dála, Dr. Garret Fitzgerald, on October 1, 1975 regarding the connection between Ireland and America as well as the contemporary conflict in Northern Ireland. Other materials include a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives congratulating the society’s founder, Rev. Brother Dominic Reardon C.S.Sp, for being named 1976’s “Man of the Year” by the Irish American Cultural Society of Bucks County, and related correspondence, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

Microfilm-cabinet
2
Drawer
3
Reel
1

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