Irish American Cultural Institute

Providing leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American Cultures


Founded in 1962, the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI) is the leading Irish American cultural organization. The IACI is a federally recognized 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit national organization devoted to promoting an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and the role and contributions of the Irish in America. The IACI is strictly apolitical and nonsectarian, and is the only Irish American organization that has as its patron, The President of Ireland.

Over the past four decades, the IACI has carved an honored place for the Irish dimension in American life. No comparable body has such an impressive track record of achievement and sustained programming.

Irish American Cultural Institute Welcomes New Chairman

James S. Donnelly, Jr., is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught modern Irish and British history from 1972 to 2008. Born in 1943 in the Bronx and raised on eastern Long Island, he attended Chaminade High School in Mineola from 1956 to 1960. Latin was his best subject. He received his B.A. degree from Fordham College in 1964 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from Harvard University in 1965 and 1971 respectively. He authored The Land and the People of Nineteenth-Century Cork: The Rural Economy and the Land Question (1975) and The Great Irish Potato Famine (2001). The former book won the 1975 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize (for best first book) awarded by the American Historical Association. He co-edited (with Samuel Clark) Irish Peasants: Violence and Political Unrest, 1780-1914 (1983) and (with Kerby Miller) Irish Popular Culture, 1650-1850 (1998). His latest book, Captain Rock: The Irish Agrarian Rebellion of 1821-1824, was published in the fall of 2009. With Dr. Andy Bielenberg of University College Cork, Jim is the co-author of the website titled "The Cork Fatality Register" at This website is devoted to making a full and complete record of all the violence-related deaths in County Cork over the years 1919-23—thus covering the War of Independence, the Truce Period, and the Civil War of 1922-23. Jim serves as co-editor (with Thomas Archdeacon) of the book series “The History of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora” at the University of Wisconsin Press (17 volumes published to date). He was co-editor of Éire-Ireland from 2001 to 2018. He is now Senior Consulting Editor of Éire-Ireland. He was the Vice Chairman of the Irish American Cultural Institute until the spring of 2018, when he became its Chairman. The parents of three daughters, Jim and his wife Joan split their time between their permanent residence in Oregon, Wisconsin (just outside Madison) and their ocean-side condo in Fort Pierce, Florida. They have one adorable grandchild (Quinn Aibhlinn) and are expecting a second.

Irish American Cultural Institute Announces 2018 Winner of National University of Ireland-Galway Visiting Fellowship

The annual IACI/NUIG Visiting Fellowship in Irish Studies is made possible by joint funding from the Irish American Cultural Institute and the National University of Ireland-Galway. The fellowship is awarded to an Irish Studies scholar, typically a resident of the United States, and provides a semester in residence at the National University of Ireland-Galway.


This year’s winner is Dr. Rebecca S. Miller, Professor of Music at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her proposed research project expands on the work that she has done to date on Irish popular music in the twentieth century (specifically, the showband era from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s). The central focus of the proposed work is on the Irish dance bands and sit-down orchestras that proliferated throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland from the 1920s through the 1960s. These ensembles played arrangements of big-band jazz standards and Dixieland jazz imported from the United States and the occasional popular Irish and British song.


Despite the widespread popularity of Irish dance bands and orchestras in Irish rural and urban venues for some four decades, there is virtually no existing scholarship on the music, the musicians/arrangers, their performance practices, or their audiences. Nor is there much if any research on the few women who broke through gender barriers, appearing in these ensembles as “girl singers.” Dr. Miller’s proposed project aims to fill these gaps via archival research, music-score analysis, and most importantly, through ethnographic interviews with the few remaining practitioners of the music, their audiences, and others in this industry and cultural arena.


A professor of Music at Hampshire College since the year 2000, Dr. Miller received her Ph.D. in Music from Brown University in 2000, her M.A. in Music from Wesleyan University in 1994, and her P.A.-A.B. in Music from Bryn Mawr College in 1982.


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The Irish American Cultural Institute is the proud publisher of the journal Éire- Ireland, which since its first appearance in 1966 has been the premier journal devoted to Irish Studies in North America. The journal is published twice a year, with Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter issues. It is interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary in scope, though articles on modern Irish history and modern Irish literature dominate the wide-ranging fare. The journal also features articles dealing with the literature and history of Irish America. One issue each year is devoted to a special theme or subject, with the 2019 special issue slated to examine “Irish Music” and the 2020 special issue scheduled to explore “Ireland and the Environment.” The journal is available in print and electronic versions.  Learn More

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Were you once a member of a local chapter of the IACI? Perhaps you are new to our Institute and would like to meet with others in your area who are interested in Irish American Culture?

If you would like to help form a new chapter in your area, or if you were involved in one in the past and would be interested in reforming, please
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This informative e-newsletter offers members insights into Irish culture, history, and the latest happenings at the IACI. Besides providing updates on IACI programming, this publication offers feature articles, educational information, book reviews, and a wealth of other information.  It's Irish American culture, delivered straight to your e-mail inbox!  Click here to sign up!
We invite IACI members to share their stories, events, pictures, book/movie reviews, recipes, etc.    To submit material, click here.  

A Message From Our Patron

"I am delighted to be Patron of the Irish American Cultural Institute, an organisation that does such valuable work in strengthening and maintaining the important links that exist between Ireland and America.  Here in Ireland we are very proud of our wider global family, and feel a special connection with the United States who have welcomed so many generations of Irish emigrants into their communities.  We are deeply appreciative of all that the Irish American community contributes to our country, of the pride you still feel for your Irish heritage and culture and of your dedication to maintaining and showcasing that culture to other communities across the globe." 

MICHAEL D. HIGGINS, President of Ireland