Church of Ireland records


Raymond Refaussé

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ISBN: 1-85182-963-6
May 2006. 96pp.

‘Another in the excellent Maynooth Research Guides for Local Irish History which focuses on the records of what was for 500 years the established Church in Ireland and therefore as much a governmental as a religious organisation. Refaussé, the librarian and archivist of the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin, guides the reader through the various archives of the Church of Ireland and how to gain access to them, as well as published catalogues and printed editions of archives and manuscripts', Books Ireland.

‘Written by an acknowledged specialist, it provides practical advice regarding the study of specific collections of historical material, enabling academic historians and interested persons to pursue independent research in a scholarly and thorough manner', Samuel Poyntz, Church of Ireland Gazette.

‘A very detailed, scholarly and comprehensive work', Sheila Duffy, Journal of the Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society.

‘The guide covers all aspects of the records of the Church of Ireland from earliest times to the present day. It is written clearly and succinctly. Not a word is wasted. Even the illustrations are informative and need careful study. In its second edition the guide will continue to inform. Perhaps it should be compulsory reading for all would-be local historians before they visit the Representative Church Body Library. It would do no harm at all if clergy and churchwardens read it!! Indeed, as one who has, for over ten years, been involved in historical research on the Church of Ireland, Dr Refausse’s guide has never been far from my reach in the study', John Crawford, SEARCH.

‘This is an absorbing account of the records of the Church of Ireland… it is a mine of information … [Refaussé] knows his archives in depth as well as in scope. More to the point, he writes in a style that engages the reader, and holds his or her attention throughout … It is a journey of discovery through a rich lore', DLC, Dublin Historical Record.

‘In less than seventy pages, the author manages to combine a life of interest in the history of the Church of Ireland with a readily accessible, easy-to-use guide to sources. The scholarship of the author is further elucidated in a wealth of footnotes. Those who know the author will delight in his amusing asides, while his scholarship will be a revelation to acquaintance and stranger alike. Those who never knew that they were specifically interested in the records of the Church of Ireland will be more than surprised in taking up this volume to find with what difficulty they lay it down', Aideen Ireland, Irish Archives.

‘… Refaussé lists in glorious detail all that has been written about the Church of Ireland recently as well as the better-known early sources', Dean Robert MacCarthy, Irish Economic & Social History.

‘All in all, this fine book should get more attention than is likely to be the case and this by virtues only of its title, a title whose broader sense is fully justified in the book itself. As Refaussé notes, one problem with Church of Ireland records is that the state of the resources ‘has the unfortunate consequence of making researchers too dependent on the small archival community who professionally service Church of Ireland collections’ (p. 77). This is a problem Church of Ireland Records goes some significant way to alleviating', Chris Fauske, Irish Historical Studies.

‘Mr. Refaussé has worked nearly twenty-five years as the archivist of the Church of Ireland, and his depth of knowledge comes through in this clear guide to the records of the church … The book includes a good select bibliography and has many footnotes that will guide the researcher who wants to understand the Church of Ireland more thoroughly', Paul Milner, Forum Magazine (Summer 2009).

‘Well researched, detailed and well presented …. This book is of use to local historians and anyone interested in history but above all, it is a superb resource for any person researching any aspect of the Church of Ireland', Noelle Dowling, Journal of the Society of Archivists.