Rokeby Lecture 2015


The 2015 Rokeby Lecture will be given by Cormac Bourke on the eve of Georgian Day. Friday’s illustrated lecture ‘Introducing the Beresford Collection’ promises to be both accessible and popular and will highlight some of the best pieces of the antiquities collection. The lecture will be held on Friday 27 November 2015 at 7.30pm in the Library’s Long Room, where most of the collection is held.

In describing the collection, Cormac says, “Among the many treasures of Armagh Public Library is the Beresford Collection, a wonderful array of archaeological finds from the northern counties of Ireland. These include four early hand-bells, like St Patrick’s bell, and all have stories attached. One has an interesting Irish name and its long-lost meaning will be revealed on Friday for the first time. Although it is not known where exactly many of the objects were found, I will try to identify some places using the available scraps of evidence, plus informed guesswork!”

The Very Revd Gregory Dunstan, Keeper of the Library says, “Dr Bourke is a distinguished archaeologist, who has a uniquely detailed knowledge of the Library’s archaeological treasures. The collection itself was assembled by Archbishop Marcus Gervais Beresford, and given to the Library by his family after his death in 1885. It has remained here ever since, a remarkable survival of a personal collection of a nineteenth century scholar.”

Cormac Bourke is from Dublin and lives in Belfast. He is a member of the directorate of the Discovery Programme (a state-funded archaeological institute in Dublin) and a member of the Historic Monuments Council for Northern Ireland. He is Honorary Editor of the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He specialises in the study of early medieval metalwork.

Admission to the lecture is free and further information may be sought from Armagh Public Library, telephone 028 3752 3142.