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Irish Club of Alaska records

Guide to the Irish Club of Alaska records
1988-2006, 2011, 2019

Collection number: HMC-1324.
Creator: Irish Club of Alaska.
Title: Irish Club of Alaska records.
Dates: 1988-2006, 2011, 2019.
Volume of collection: 0.4 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Records of a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Alaskans with quality learning opportunities in Irish and Irish-American arts, language, music, and literature.

Organizational history:
The Irish Club of Alaska is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Alaskans with quality learning opportunities in Irish and Irish-American arts, language, music, and literature.

What is now known as the Irish Club of Alaska began back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s as the Irish American Claddagh Society of Alaska (IACSA). A group of Irish Americans, who wanted to celebrate and pass on their heritage, began to have informal meetings and parties featuring Irish music and dancing. Mary Digney and her sister Kathleen Burns were owners of the McMac Shop in Spenard for decades and the shop was the defacto heart for the Irish and Irish American Community in Anchorage. The Saint Patrick’s Day open house was also held at the McMac.

Many aspects of the Celtic heritage in Anchorage today can be directly attributed to Mary Digney’s dedication: the Alaskan Scottish Club, the Celtic Community of Alaska, the Irish Cultural Collective, the Irish Dance Academy of Alaska, and the Northern Lights Celtic Dancers. As Mary said, “The goal always was to bring Irish heritage to the children—unless they grow up with it, they aren’t as aware of it—our job is to remind them of it and give them experiences—especially the incredible contributions of the Irish to the fabric of American life”.

Mary and Kathleen joined forces with the likes of Bill Moran, Mary and Ed Monaghan, Vic and Enid Davis, and Frank Neary to form the IACSA. They hosted monthly meetings and quarterly Ceili’s (Kay -lee’s) featuring local musicians who played Irish Music. Eventually, the organization changed its name to Irish Club of Alaska. [Note: Additional organizational history is available in the collection].

Collection description:
A majority of this collection contains newsletters and member correspondence.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by item type, and then chronological within.

Digitized copies: This collection has not been digitized. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Copyright to materials created by the Irish Club of Alaska is held by the Irish Club of Alaska, with the Archives authorized to permit use on their behalf. Materials in the collection created by other individuals or organizations may be subject to copyright not held by the Irish Club of Alaska or the Archives.

Preferred citation: Irish Club of Alaska records, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory: Organizational history was provided by Peggy Monaghan.

Acquisition note: The collection was donated to the Archives in 2019. A deposit agreement was signed by Irish Club of Alaska members Peggy Monaghan (President), Dawn Berg (Vice President), and Mary Ann Green (Board Member).

Processing information: This collection was described by Veronica Denison in 2019.

Container list:

Folder Description Dates
1-13 Newsletters, membership correspondence, event fliers 1988-2006
14 2011 May 28 newsletter; Information on bogs in Ireland undated, 2011
15 Photographs of an exhibit; News clippings, including letters to editor of Anchorage Times circa 1990-1991
16 Service recognition certificate awarded to Enid and Vic Davis 1999 March
17 St. Patrick’s Day sing-a-long song for a St. Patrick’s Day event undated
18 Irish Club of Alaska history, written by Peggy Monaghan 2019

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