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Dublin Writers Museum

The idea of a Dublin Writers Museum was originated by the journalist and author Maurice Gorham (1902 - 1975), who proposed it to Dublin Tourism. The Dublin Writers Museum was opened in November 1991 in an original 18th-century house, which accommodates the museum rooms, library, gallery and administration offices.

The Museum was established to promote interest in Irish literature as a whole, and in the lives and works of individual Irish writers, through its collection, displays and activities. On a national level it acts as a centre, simultaneously pulling together the strands of Irish literature and complementing the smaller, more detailed museums devoted to individuals like James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and Patrick Pearse.

It functions as a place where people can come from Dublin, Ireland and abroad to experience the phenomenon of Irish writing both as history and as actuality.

The writers featured in the Museum have made an important contribution to Irish or international literature or, on a local level, to the literature of Dublin over the past 300 years. It is a view of Irish literature from a Dublin perspective.

The museum also includes portraits of Irish writers, including fine originals by artists such as Patrick Swift, Reginald Gray, Edward McGuire and Harry Kernoff.

The Museum Collection is fascinating. There are plenty of books, representing the milestones in the progress of Irish literature from Gulliver's Travels to Dracula, The Importance of Being Earnest, James Joyce's Ulysses and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

Most of these are first or early editions, recapturing the moment when they first surprised the world. There are books inscribed to Oliver Gogarty by W.B. Yeats and to Brinsley MacNamara by James Joyce, while a first edition of Patrick Kavanagh's 'The Great Hunger' includes in the poet's own hand a stanza which the prudish publisher declined to print.