Material Culture of the Mendicant Orders in Ireland - UCD Digital Library

Material Culture of the Mendicant Orders in Ireland

Abstract: A selection of photographs of and detailed information about religious artefacts, mainly chalices, belonging to the Irish Franciscans.

In collection Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVLRA)

Date created:
Embargoed until:
Type of Resource
still image
three dimensional object
Physical description
30 items (image/jpeg) — Reformating quality: access
Static display versions in JPEG format in three sizes are available.
Photography by Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D'Aughton, for the UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute
Scope and Content
The project on the material culture of the mendicant orders in Ireland undertaken by the UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute aims to create a full inventory of portable artefacts pre-dating 1829 belonging to the Irish mendicant orders (Augustinians, Capuchins, Carmelites, Dominicans and Franciscans and Poor Clares). This project builds on earlier work which was supported by a grant from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences and undertaken between 2004 and 2008. During this time, the UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute undertook a major investigation into the material culture of the mendicant orders in Ireland. Visits to forty-one houses, which were carried out by Dr D'Aughton and facilitiated by Dr Ó'Clabaigh, uncovered over 400 liturgical objects (mainly altar plate and liturgical vestments) pre-dating 1829. This material had never previously been studied as a coherent subject and for this project each artefact has been fully described, photographed, measured and researched from art historical, historical and liturgical perspectives.
The IVRLA phase of this project, undertaken from July to December 2009, has concentrated on retrieving the data from the earlier project, correcting bibliographical details where necessary, and designing and populating a text-and-image searchable database specifically for these artefacts. The database, which has over 400 records and 5,000 images, represents a very significant resource for the study of the mendicant orders in Ireland. A selection of 30 records from the database (Franciscan artefacts now housed in the Collins Barracks Museum in Dublin) has been made available through the IVRLA and it is hoped that the complete database will be made available in due course. For further enquiries regarding the project, contact Dr Edel Breathnach, Academic Project Manager, UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, University College Dublin (
Most of the material dates to the late medieval and early modern periods. It is, therefore, at the cusp of two epochs. Its style reflects a continuation of the late medieval forms well into the seventeenth century in Ireland while also absorbing the arrival of Counter-Reformation iconography and elements of the Baroque style. For the first time it has been possible to identify material of Irish origin and to differentiate between regional styles. This material provides for new perspectives in Irish art historical studies, ecclesiastical history and patterns of patronage.
Arrangement of the Collection
The records are arranged in alphabetical order by artefact title. Each of the 30 records includes all historical details, biographical details and artefact images for that artefact.
Chalices--Ireland   linked data (lcsh)
Religious articles--Ireland   linked data (lcsh)
Ireland--Church history   linked data (lcsh)
Franciscans. Irish Province
Friars--Ireland   linked data (lcsh)
Mendicant Orders--Ireland
Altar Plates--Ireland
Church Silver--Ireland
University College Dublin. UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute for the Study of Irish History and Civilisation. Material Culture of the Mendicant Orders in Ireland

Record source
Metadata creation date: 2009-12-04 — Prepared by IVRLA project staff, UCD Library, University College Dublin. EAD encoded by the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) - D.M., 4 December 2009.

Rights & Usage Conditions