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NAME: Ethna Byrne Costigan Collection           Item Description     Back to list of Collections 


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IE BL/SC/11-02

Ethna Byrne Costigan Collection



7 items


IE BL/SC/11-02 is part of the Byrne Costigan material held in UCC Library. The material was found during the re-cataloguing of the book collection deposited in UCC Library.  The Byrne Costigan library is held in UCC library’s Special Collections.

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) (X 828.9 BYRN)

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.

Reference Source: Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge University Press and Royal Irish Academy).


The material is mostly academic in nature, in French and English.  There is also a critique [by] Mary Ryan amongst the papers.  It is described in date order.


Access:  Available by appointment with the Archives Service to holders of UCC Readers tickets.

Language:  English and French

Finding Aid:  Item Description (see below)


1.   1948-1950

Copies of a typed and bound [text] book French Prose Composition – Extracts from Modern and Contemporary Writers for translation into French selected by Professor E. Byrne Costigan, M.A., D-es-L. Writers included are Thackery, Bronte, Hardy, Sitwell, etc. One copy notes the academic year when the prose was used. Includes a National University of Ireland examination results form for 1st Arts and Commerce: French, University College, Cork, listing only the candidate’s number and name. No results are given.   3 items

2.   18 May [ND]

Mss draft of an [essay/article entitled] “More about Marie-Claire” written in English. It seems to be a critique of a book review from Blackwood’s magazine on the novel Marie Claire or L’Atelier de Marie-Claire by Marguerite Audoux http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marguerite_Audoux. It is signed at the end Mary Ryan, [Ronayn’s] Court, Douglas, Co. Cork.   6pp

3.   [ND]

Notebook containing mss research notes, lists of reading material in French and English.   40pp

4.   [ND]

Hardback copybook containing mss notes/comments on the book Le Grand Siècle by Jacques Boulenger.   148pp & 8 enclosures

5.   [ND]

Typed [essay] entitled Le Jeu de la tapisserie dans le Porcche et le Mystère des Saints Innocents.  It is signed at the end [Jean Onimus].   15pp

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Last updated: 08 March 2016

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