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Boston College collection of Éamon and Sinéad De Valera

Collection MS-1988-011: Boston College collection of Éamon and Sinéad De Valera


  • Creation: 1918 - 1975

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of materials relating to both Éamon and Sinéad De Valera. There are photographs and portraits of Éamon as well as copies of some of his well-known speeches and his obituary. There is also correspondence from both Éamon and Sinéad.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Born in New York in 1882, Éamon De Valera was an Irish politician and patriot. Educated at the Royal University, Dublin, he became a teacher of mathematics and an ardent supporter of the Irish language revival. He participated in revolutionary politics as a young man and after the Easter Rising he became national president of Sinn Féin in 1917. After the Irish Civil War, in which De Valera sided with the anti-treaty nationalists, he established the Fianna Fáil party in 1926. At various intervals between 1932 and 1959 he served as Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland. Under De Valera, the Irish Free State became Éire, a sovereign, independent nation linked with the British Commonwealth in 1937. He ended his public career by serving two terms as President of Ireland.

Sinéad De Valera was an Irish author of a number of children's books and plays in both Irish and English. Born Jane O’Flanagan in Balbriggan, she was trained as a teacher and closely associated with the Gaelic Language Revival. Sinéad taught Irish at the Leinster College of the Gaelic League in Parnell Square. One of her students was Éamon De Valera. The two were married in January 1910 and together had five sons and two daughters.

Both Éamon and Sinéad died in 1975.


“Éamon De Valera,” In Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, April 17, 2013. Encyclopædia Britannica (Accessed April 3, 2020).

“Sinéad De Valera, 96, Wife of Irish President,” The New York Times, January 8, 1975.


1.75 Linear Feet (2 containers)

Language of Materials



Composed of published speeches of Sinn Fein leader and Irish president Éamon De Valera, some of which date from the World War II era. There are also images of him, including photographs taken during his visit to Boston in 1947. In addition, the collection includes obituaries of De Valera from Irish newspapers, and two letters of De Valera's wife, Sinéad.


The collection is arranged into four series: I. Photographs and portraits; II. Correspondence; III. Speeches; and IV. Obituaries.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. However correspondence on file indicates the Sineád De Valera letters were a gift of Sister M. Walter.

Later acquisitions were gifts of Richard L. Parker (1997) and Philip Kiley, SJ (2005), as well as purchases from Kenny’s Bookshop (1988) and the U.S. Manuscript Society (2012).

Boston College Collection of Éamon and Sinéad De Valera
Rachael Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States