OCLC Research has just published a report investigating how many Ireland-related works exist in the “published record”. Using computational analysis of the contents of WorldCat, a database of more than 16,000 library holdings worldwide, authors, Brian Lavoie and Lorcan Dempsey have used the catalogue’s descriptive metadata to identify the Irish presence and create a corpus of publications associated with Ireland and its people.
An Exploration of the Irish Presence in the Published Record also highlights the “indispensible role of libraries as repositories and caretakers of the creative outputs of Ireland and all nations” (p.7).
Surprisingly, McGill University Library’s collection of Irish works places it in the top ten list of libraries in the world with the greatest concentrations of materials with Irish presence.
“An Irish university, Trinity College Dublin, leads the ranking as the institution with the highest number of publications from the Irish presence in the world (table 13). Two other Irish institutions place on the list—University College Dublin and University College Cork—as well as two UK universities, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. The US leads with four institutions, including three universities and one public library, and Canada’s McGill University rounds out a strong North American presence on the list” (p. 24).
The most popular work published by an Irish author?
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift!
Read the full report here.