The Irish Committee of Historical Sciences, founded in March 1938 to provide for the representation of Irish historical interests on the Comité International des Sciences Historiques/International Committee of Historical Sciences (CISH/ICHS). Our purpose is to represent historians and the historical discipline in Ireland, to promote historical scholarship and public engagement with history, to advocate for the discipline, to provide a forum for discussion, to promote and disseminate research and encourage students and early career researchers.


Irish History Online

Since its foundation the ICHS has encouraged and supported bibliographic activity related to finding, listing and making public published work in Irish history. Over time this work has been consolidated into, first, Writings on Irish History (1938-2004) and, since 2004, the online bibliography Irish History Online (IHO). IHO lists and indexes bibliographic information on books, pamphlets, articles from edited collections (including festschriften and conference proceedings) and from journals published in Ireland and internationally. It currently contains over 98,000 entries. In 2017 the website was upgraded with a new, enhanced search capability. It is free to end users.

IHO is professionally compiled by a team of voluntary editors and compilers and is hosted and managed by the Royal Irish Academy Library in Dublin.


Conferences and Publications

The Irish Committee of Historical Sciences has held a conference of historians annually since 1939, both to transact routine business and to hear papers on historical subjects. Before 1953 these conferences took the form of an afternoon session in Dublin at which a paper on an Irish subject was read, usually by an Irish historian, before an audience consisting of members of the history faculties of the Irish universities, teachers of history in Irish schools, and others interested in historical scholarship. In July 1953 a conference on a larger scale was held in Dublin: it lasted for three days, ten papers were read, the subjects were not confined to Irish history, and the speakers included several visiting scholars. The marked success of this experiment caused the committee to decide that in future a conference of the new type should be held every second year.

The second biennial conference was held in Dublin in July 1955, and was followed by a further innovation. Historical Studies: papers read before the Second Irish Conference of Historians was published in 1958 and proved to be the first of a continuing series. For the 1953 and 1955 conference Trinity College and University College, Dublin, together acted as hosts. Since 1955 the conference has been circulating among the university colleges of Ireland.