Commemorative volumes view gallery
Across the British Isles numerous volumes were published in the decades from 1830 to 1930 in commemoration of individuals, groups and events. Most of those volumes were extensively illustrated and were sometimes lavish productions, employing materials such as hand-made paper, hand-cut and printed blocks or plates, and richly decorated bindings.
Daniel Maclise’s portrait drawings for Fraser’s Magazine of Irish and British literary and other celebrities of the 1830s had lasting appeal and were gathered and reprinted several times as special collector editions. The centenary of the birth of the nationalist politician, Daniel O’Connell, was celebrated in 1875 with the publication of the substantial O’Connell Centenary Record. In 1924, Harry Clarke illustrated an ephemeral, if visually striking, account of the origins of Jameson’s whiskey and the reasons for the product's scarcity during the twenties. At about the same time Clarke designed the page borders for Ireland’s Memorial Records, a solemn listing comprising eight large volumes of the names and rank of the Irish dead of the First World War. In 1932 the Irish Free State Official Handbook commemorated the achievement of independence and set an agenda for modern Ireland, visually enhanced by illustrations commissioned from the leading artists of the day.