Wednesday 25 April 2012

A bounty of specialised Irish books

Having been trading online for some 19 years (longer than Kennys and Amazon, as he likes to point out), Louis Hemmings will be well known to many genealogists and historians, but probably not to everyone who could benefit from or enjoy a browse through his specialised cyber bookshelf. So this post aims to introduce you to him as an outstanding source of pre-loved reference, biographical and all-things-Irish books.

According to last month's 56-page email sale catalogue, Louis Hemmings specialises in Antiquarian and Religious Books. This is a good stab at a mop-up description but it doesn't let people in on a secret – that there are hundreds of books on the list that don't fit into the theological category and which would be incredibly useful to anyone with an interest in Irish history, local history, family history, Irish culture, Celtic culture and Irish language.

Genealogists with no particular interest in ecclesiastical or doctrinal development are very well catered for, with a good range of localised and pertinent studies, as well as first person travelogues, often dating back to the 19th century. Many of the most targeted books were published by family history societies.

So if you're looking beyond the names and dates of your ancestors, and want to learn more about the world they inhabited, get yourself onto Louis's circulation list. More than 1,700 subscribers can't be wrong! He sends it monthly between September and May, and he's prepared to tailor make a list to very particular criteria, if requested.

When it comes to ordering books, you can deal directly with him via (he accepts payment by Euro, AUS$ cash, US$ cash and cheques, UK£ cash and cheques, and PayPal) and he charges An Post book rates for mailing. Alternatively, you can order from him through (where you'll also find his current list detailed), or you could even pop into Carraig Books in Blackrock, where he is sometimes to be found behind the desk.