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Byrne Costigan Collection: Home

Personal library of Ethna Byrne Costigan.

About the Collection

Ethna Byrne Costigan's personal collection has c.750 items, the bulk being 20th century with c.100 from the 19th century. Most of the material is literary in nature relating to French or English.

The collection prefix before the call number is: Byrne Costigan.

Biographical History

Ethna Byrne Costigan (1904-1991) was Professor of Romance Languages in University College Cork from 1939 to 1969.  Born in Dublin, she spent some of her childhood with relatives in Italy.  She was a graduate of UCD gaining her BA and MA from there, and went to the Sorbonne for her PhD.  She was appointed Professor of Romance Languages following the retirement of Professor Mary Ryan.  She published many academic works during the course of her career, and during her retirement, published a memoir Ethna Mary Twice (1989).

With her associate, Dr. Piero Calì, she founded the Dante Alighieri Society in Cork, of which she served as president from 1956-1969.  On retirement, she lectured part-time on Italian philology and medieval texts at Trinity College, Dublin. She served on the Irish national committee of UNESCO, and was twice selected to represent Ireland at the biennial conference in Paris.  She also served as honorary secretary of the Celtic Congress.  In recognition of her work in promoting Italian language and culture in Ireland the Italian government made her a grand official (grand’ ufficiale) of the Italian Order of Merit in 1960.

Collection Highlights

More Information

UCC Library Archives Service holds Ethna Byrne Costigan's archival collection. This contains notes and drafts of papers.