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Archive of the Month February 2014 – 50 years at Braemor Park: documenting an evolutionary story using records in the RCB Library

RCB Library Notes

Added on 01/02/2014

Church of Ireland Gazette, 21 February 1964
Church of Ireland Gazette
, 21 February 1964

February 2014 marks auspicious month in the calendar of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute (CITI) – formerly the Theological College (until 2008) and before that the Church of Ireland Divinity Hostel, founded in 1913, which prepares future clergy for ordination. On 17 February 2014 it will be exactly fifty years to the day since the official opening and dedication of the premises at Braemor Park, Churchtown (formerly Rathgar) in Dublin.

To mark the occasion, this month’s Archive of the Month at the Representative Church Body Library (which is part of the CITI campus) features of the resources available in the Library to document with accuracy the evolutionary story of this central Church institution, and thus contribute positively to its anniversary.

In addition to keeping safe two concurrent minute books of the Divinity Hostel (evolving into the Theological College), for the period 1913 to 2000, the Library also holds an array of supplementary printed materials that help to flesh out the story. These latter include the Reports of the General Synod published annually, which document the administration and funding of the institution; the news pages of the Church of Ireland Gazette which in February 1964 include pictures and reports covering the re–opening in Braemor Park some fifty years ago; and even the order of service used in the chapel of the “new hostel” on the very day when the Most Revd James McCann, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland opened the new premises, and when the chapel was dedicated by the Most Revd George Otto Simms, Archbishop of Dublin.

The minute books, as original manuscripts, are subject to normal 40–year closure rules, so they are available for public consultation up to and including the year 1974. The printed materials are open to all. A colourful selection of archival and printed items is included on the online display.

Re–location of the Divinity Hostel in 1964 had repercussions for the RCB Library, which was founded in 1932, and originally occupied the top floor of the Church’s central administration at 52 St Stephen’s Green. When Church of Ireland House re–located, the decision was made to move the theological and reference library of the Church of Ireland, as well as the principal repository for its written heritage, in close proximity to the Divinity Hostel, to facilitate ordinands in training. This occurred in 1970, and today the Library’s printed collections of books and periodicals are used on a daily basis by the current generation of ordinands, as well as a wide range of public researchers.

To view the online presentation, see: www.ireland.anglican.org/library/archive

For information about the Church of Ireland Theological Institute see www.theologicalinstitute.ie

For further information please contact:
Dr Susan Hood
RCB Library
Braemor Park
Dublin 14
Tel: 01–4923979
Fax: 01–4924770
E–mail: susan.hood@rcbdub.org