The Methodist Historical Society of Ireland is the largest repository of Irish Methodist archival material in the island of Ireland. It has a growing collection of church and society records including marriage and baptismal registers from West Cork in the south to the Inishowen peninsula in the north and offers a manuscript collection which includes early preachers’ journals and sermon notes, excellent collections of early Dublin printed Wesley hymnbooks and journals. The Society holds original John and Charles Wesley manuscript letters and poems as well as an original miniature portrait of Susanna Wesley and a unique lock of Charles Wesley’s hair cut off by his daughter Sarah on his death bed.
The Society’s Collecting, Preservation and Access Policy (approved by the Society AGM on 12 June 2010) is now available online.
Types of Materials
The Society’s collections include a number of different types of materials:
Books and pamphlets – ranging from the rare John Wesley’s 52-volume Christian Library to an unrivalled collection of nineteenth-century Irish Methodist pamphlets and tracts.
Serials and newspapers – spanning almost 250 years, from the original Armenian Magazine of 1778 through to the current monthly Methodist Newsletter. There are card and hand indices available to places and personal obituaries for the Irish newspapers.
Manuscripts – materials such as letters, preachers’ diaries, account books, deeds, minutes, and scrapbooks. Manuscript collections include personal papers created by individuals and records created by societies, circuits and the connexion.
Photographs –photographs (as yet largely uncatalogued), line-drawings, and other images.
Printed ephemera – circuit preaching plans, event programmes, brochures, invitations, and postcards.
Microforms – microfilm and microfiche reproductions of newspapers, genealogical resources, manuscript collections, and other materials.
Wesleyana and Church ware – A large collection of busts and memorabilia relating to the Wesley family and other notable Methodists (including Adam Clarke) and love feast/communion cups and souvenirs.