Explore the History of the Irish Hospice Foundation

IHF 30 years and beyond – Physical & Digital Archive

Last year saw the Irish Hospice Foundation mark it’s 30th anniversary and reflect on our history and legacy.

As part of this reflection the Library and Information Service worked to bring together previously unpublished documents and images spanning the foundation’s history from its launch up to the present in a digital archive. The digital archive was launched in January by RTE’s Mary Kennedy. It allows browsing across online collections featuring documents, images, video and audio on some of the projects, events and achievements of the IHF over three decades. There are currently over 2,000 items and 80 collections digitised and accessible in the archive. Speaking at the launch Mary Kennedy said “This archive spans three decades of the IHF since it’s foundation in 1986 and features some very familiar names that have supported the hospice movement. It maps the history of the hospice including ground breaking IHF programmes like Hospice Friendly Hospitals and Nurses for Night Care, innovative fundraising projects like the Whoseday Book and their pioneering research’.

Some highlights of the archive include ;

  • TK Whitaker’s speech and photos from IHF launch in 1986
  • Original photograph of Seamus Heaney’s hands by photographer Perry Ogden with notes for cover of the Whoseday Book – a Unique Diary for the Millennium. The book in aid of the IHF had 366 contributors including poets, filmmakers and song writers.
  • Correspondence between Dr Mary Redmond & Mother Teresa
  • Correspondence relating to the preparation of the Whoseday book including draft sketches and letters for the final publication valued at £550,000 in 2000. The collection was bought by Bank of Ireland and was donated to the National Library.
  • Unique concept art detailing layout of the Peter and the Wolf book which was illustrated by Bono in aid of the IHF.
  • The original letter from Dr Mary Redmond to Sr Frances Rose O’Flynn of Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross in 1985 recounting how the death of her father highlighted the importance of hospice care for terminally ill patients and their families.
  • A meeting memorandum between Dr Redmond and Dame Cicely Saunders – founder of the modern hospice movement – in February 9th 

Laura Rooney Ferris, IHF Information and Library Manager and archive creator said at the launch ‘In creating this digital archive we are sharing our family album. We are incredibly grateful to Dr Mary Redmond’s family for this large collection of her personal papers and documents, and also to former board and staff members and people involved throughout the 30 years who kindly contributed’. 

Mother Teresa Letter
Letter from Mother Teresa of Calcutta in response to Dr Mary Redmond Mar 1992

Continuing Work

The digital archive will continue to be developed over time – many collections of personal papers, documents, research and historical material relating to Dr Mary Redmond and the founding of the Irish Hospice Foundation are still being curated and plans are being developed to catalogue and make these collections accessible.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates on items of interest in the archive collections.

You can browse the current digital archive collections HERE>>> 


Library access Friday Jan 13th

Therese Brady Library Collection

Happy New Year and welcome back to all our library users.

The Library space will be in use from 9 am until 4.30 pm on Friday January 13th so will not be accessible to visitors.

Library users needing to return books may still do so but study facilities and access to the collection will not be available during this time. Remember that you can reserve or renew library items through the online catalogue using your library reader and PIN number. If you need to borrow items or have any queries please email laura.rooneyferris@hospice-foundation.ie


Happy Library Ireland Week!

It’s that time of year again, this week (March 7th to 13th) libraries around the country will be showcasing their services and collections with special spotlight features, events and promotions. This year’s theme of ‘Smart people use smart libraries’ aims to illustrate the ways in which libraries use technology to enhance, extend and promote their services. Staff and students of the Irish Hospice Foundation can book in for 10 minute library fix sessions. These short personal tutorials cover anything from effectively using the library catalogue and database searching to setting up personal searches and alerts using RSS feeds or finding out about social media tools or iphone apps useful for work or research – contact Laura in the library to book a session.

Here on the blog there will be features to highlight smart libraries and resource recommendations throughout the week.

To get you in the mood have a look at this great promotional video produced to celebrate Library Ireland Week 2011.

Bank holiday – August 4th

The Therese Brady Library will be closed for the bank holiday on

Monday August 4th

It will re-open on Tuesday August 3rd at 9 am

Members of the public wishing to visit the library are reminded to contact the library on 01 6793188 or by emailing laura.rooneyferris@hospice-foundation.ie  prior to visiting.

Bank Holiday Monday June 7th

The Therese Brady Library will be closed for the bank holiday on

Monday June 7th

& will be not be staffed on Tuesday June 8th (although it will be open to our  postgraduate students for access)

Wishing you all a very relaxing bank holiday weekend.

Best of luck to all our Flora women’s mini marathon participants on Monday, hopefully we get good weather for a run – I’ll see you at the finish   line (If I make it that far!)