Kildare historian donates research papers to Maynooth University library

When fully catalogued, Colgan archive will be available to local historians in the north Kildare region and beyond.

Henry Bauress


Henry Bauress


Kildare historian donates research papers to Maynooth University library

John Colgan

A Leixlip historian has donated his research papers to the library at Maynooth University.

John Colgan, a former Leixlip Town Councillor, who has written the key history of Leixlip, decided to donate his papers to the university.

On November 17 last,  he and Hugh Murphy, Senior Librarian, Maynooth University, signed an agreement between him and the university to deposit his Leixlip papers with the library.

John, a  native of  Phibsborough,told us that the papers are mainly the subject of his research for his history book, "Leixlip,County Kildare.” This was launched in 2005.

“Along with other collections deposited there, they will be made available to researchers who request access. They are catalogued by the Archives staff.

In its review of that book, a reviewer on Amazon said that the 300 page history of the town of Leixlip is an excellent example of the historian's craft. John Colgan, he said, has focussed on a small town with a vibrant history spanning more than 800 years. With its proximity to Dublin, Leixlip witnessed all the great episodes of Ireland's turbulent history, from the invasions of Vikings and Normans to the exploits of the IRA. “Colgan cleverly covers an immense amount of detail by arranging the book in encyclopedia format so that the reader can proceed straight to specific items of interest. All in all, a delightful compendium of previously unpresented historical material.”

A Maynooth University spokesperson said: “The Library at Maynooth University was delighted to take receipt of the archive of local historian John Colgan.   Mr Colgan’s work in researching both the local history and development of North Kildare ensures that his archive fits particularly well with both the research and teaching in Maynooth University, but also as part of our remit in reflecting the various communities in which we are situated.  When fully catalogued, this archive will be available not only to the campus community, but also to local historians in the north Kildare region and beyond.”

The university said "that in terms of the type of material we collect, it is essential that it will contribute to either the teaching or research which is undertaken on campus, or, as in this case, that the preservation of it will enrich our understanding of the local area.  In terms of the latter, we acknowledge and are grateful for the work of our colleagues in the Public Library system, particularly those working in Local Studies."