Wednesday 26 September 2012

$5m Irish library opens in Arizona

After five years of planning and building, the McClelland Irish Library in Phoenix, Arizona is to open to the public and to genealogy researchers.

The library holds more than 6,000 books, journals and periodicals on Irish genealogy, literature and culture and aims to be recognised as a major Irish genealogical research centre. There is also an ongoing exhibit of The Book of Kells and a number of reading rooms and computer resources.

It was founded by Norman McClelland, chairman of Shamrock Foods, who had traced his own roots in Ireland and Scotland. Four of his books now form part of the library collection.

The 15,000 sq ft building, at 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, resembles a traditional Irish castle, and elements of it were constructed using Irish Blue limestone by an Irish stonemason. 

A grand opening gala will take place this Saturday (tickets) and the library will officially open its doors to the public on Tuesday 2 October. Free tea, soda bread, Irish entertainment and library tours will greet visitors on the first day.

Opening hours 10am-3pm Tuesday to Thursday in October; 10am-3pm Tuesday to Sunday in November.

For more information visit