Duquesne Receives Irish History, Literature Collection from the Late Dan Rooney

Duquesne University's Gumberg Library has been awarded an impressive collection of volumes on Irish history and literature from the family of late alumnus Daniel M. Rooney, the former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and Pittsburgh Steelers chairman.

The Ambassador Daniel M. Rooney Irish History and Literature Collection comprises 438 volumes dating from the early 1800s to the present, including The Trembling of the Veil (1922 edition) and Poems (1923 edition) signed by Nobel Prize-winning author William Butler Yeats. Rooney acquired a wide array of books on history, poetry, literature, archaeology and folklore from 2009 to 2012 when he served as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland under President Barack Obama.

"We're incredibly honored to have received this significant collection of works on Irish history and literature from the late Dan Rooney," said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. "Dan Rooney was a man of great compassion and integrity who was known for his deep love of Pittsburgh and Ireland. Through this very generous gift, future generations of faculty, students and scholars at Duquesne University will benefit from Ambassador Rooney's lifetime devotion to literature, learning and love for the communities that were so dear to him."

Other noteworthy and historical volumes among the collection include:

  • John Carr's The Stranger in Ireland from 1806
  • Samuel Beckett's limited edition of Poems 1930-1989
  • Statistical Survey of the County of Dublin from 1801
  • James Stuart's Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh.
  • Sir Jonah Barrington's two-volume Historic Memoirs of Ireland.

Rooney, a 1955 graduate of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, was an active alumnus and longtime friend of the University. He helped to spearhead the development of Arthur J. Rooney Field, the campus football stadium named in honor of his father, and was a member of Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne University Alumni.

"As a whole, the collection represents a strong survey of the culture of Ireland," University Librarian Dr. Sara Baron said. "It is especially fitting that it has found its home at Duquesne because of the long history of Irish Spiritan involvement at the University."

Duquesne English Chair and Professor Dr. Greg Barnhisel said the materials in the Rooney collection will help expand the scope of classes in Irish literature.

"The collection also will bolster the strong links that already exist between Duquesne and Irish universities such as the National University of Ireland in Galway and University College Dublin," Barnhisel said. "The English department is very grateful to the Rooney family for its donation of this incredible collection to Gumberg Library."

The Ambassador Daniel M. Rooney Irish History and Literature Collection will be housed in the University Archives and Special Collections at Gumberg Library.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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