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John M. Kelly Library Research Guides

CLT416H1: Irish Nationalism in Canada

CLT416H1: Irish Nationalism in Canada - Customized Resources

Fenian invasion images. Adapted from The Fenian Volunteer [Fenian Brotherhood poster]; Border Volunteers stand over a Fenian slain during the Battle of Eccles Hill, 1870 [Missisquoi Historical Society/Musée Missisquoi Museum / The Canadian Encyclopedia]; Denis and Patrick Doody with unknown group; William Mackey Lomasney.

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Article Databases


Search LibrarySearch

Known as LibrarySearch, this interdisciplinary database is UofT's largest--and your best bet when more focused databases let you down. It combs through more than 1,200 databases, journal packages, e-book collections, and other resources ranging from the sciences to the social sciences and humanities. At its best, LibrarySearch finds relevant results you won't find elsewhere; at its worst, however, LibrarySearch can overwhelm you will a mish-mash of results from different subject areas.


Everything Search

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Other Databases

Covering the history of the United States and Canada, America History & Life indexes more than 1,800 journals from 1895 to the present.

Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present. The database contains over half a million annotated entries.

Bibliography of British & Irish History (BBIH)


Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900

Catalogue Search


Advanced Search

Historical Newspapers


Irish Diaspora - Canada & United States

Irish American, 1849-1914 (New York) - America's Historical Newspapers

Printing: Very difficult in Google News. The only real way to print is to use ALT-PrtScr (Print Screen) on your computer: this will copy the page. Then paste the image into a word document where you can crop it.

Zooming: Click the zoom in and out magnifying glass icons in the top-right of the horizontal blue bar above the newspaper pages.

Printing: Click the print icon in the top-right corner.

Zooming: Click the zoom in and out icons in the bottom-right corner.

Search: Irish Canadian, 1863-1875 (Toronto) - Paper of Record

Irish Sentinel, 1872 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

Irish World, 1872-1905 (New York) - America's Historical Newspapers

Upper Canada

For the micofilm version, go to the Media Commons Library on the 3rd Floor of Robarts.

Ottawa Daily Citizen, 1879-1890 - Google News Archive

Ottawa Citizen, 1851-2010 - Proquest Historical Newspapers

Ottawa Citizen, 1853-1990 - Google News Archive

Ottawa Times, 1865-1867 - Paper of Record

Ottawa Times, 1865-1868 - Google News Archive

Comprises The Evening Star (1894-1900), The Toronto Daily Star (1900-1971), and The Toronto Star (1971-2015).

Lower Canada

Montreal Daily Herald, January 1880, 1885-1888, 1892 - Google News Archive

Montreal Gazette, 1867-2010 - Proquest Historical Newspapers

Montreal Gazette, 1827-1828 - Google News Archive

Montreal Gazette, 1878-1986 - Google News Archive

Montreal Herald, August 1824- April 1834 - Canadiana

Montreal Herald, July-September 1834 - Canadiana

Montreal Herald, 1811-1816, 1863-1873 - Paper of Record

Montreal Herald, October 1811-1816, 1820, 1824, 1861-1889 - Google News Archive

Montreal Herald, 1816-1823, 1885-1886, 1888-1893 - Google News Archive

Montreal Herald & Daily Commercial Gazette, 1834-1840 - Canadiana

Montreal Herald & Daily Commercial Gazette, 1869-1873, 1878 - Google News Archive

Montreal Weekly Herald, 1893-1896 - Canadiana

Quebec Daily Evening Mercury, 1876-1879 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

Quebec Daily Mercury, 1870-1903 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

Quebec Mercury, 1862-1864 (Quebec City) - Paper of Record

Quebec Mercury, 1862-1864 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

Quebec Morning Chronicle, 1847, 1852-1853, 1863, 1870-1871 (Quebec City) - Paper of Record

Quebec Morning Chronicle, 1847-1873 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

Quebec Morning Chronicle, 1847-1848 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

Quebec Morning Chronicle, Commercial & Shipping Gazette, 1879-1885 (Quebec City) - Canadiana

Quebec Spectator, 1848 (Quebec City) - Google News Archive

United States

America's Historical Newspapers

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

New York Daily Tribune, 1842-1866


Paper of Record

On Microfilm

Media Commons Newspapers on Microform

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Dictionary of Canadian Biography

With more than 9,000 articles on subjects ranging from politics, law, engineering, and religion to literature, painting, medicine, and sport, this encyclopedia is a key resource for Irish studies. The entries, written by established academics, contain bibliographies to guide students in further research. The 9-volume set is so detailed that you get thorough articles on a wide range of people, from internationally-famous figures such as the poet W.B. Yeats to lesser-known persons such as Denis Kilbride, a 19th Century agrarian campaigner and MP.

Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History - A Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia

Canadian Encyclopedia

Both online and in print, and containing more than 1,500 articles, this 5-volume set is the major encyclopedia for Celtic studies.

Oxford Companion to Irish History

Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History: War

Archival Sources

Course Documents

September 30th: Reformers and Revolutionaries

Bernard Devlin’s speech at Vauxhall Gardens, delivered 12 August 1848, and published in New York Daily Tribune, 25 August 1848.

October 7th: Fenians and the Famine

Letter from Bishop John Joseph Lynch to The O’Donohoe, 28 February 1866.

October 14th: From Riot to Resistance

"Petition of The Citizens of Toronto", in the [Toronto] Mirror, 23 April 1858.

October 21st: The Irish Republican Army

Letters from Francis McNamee to Mr. Christian, 24 March, 26 March 1866; letter from William Mansfield to Mr. Christian, 26 March 1866.

October 28th: Counter-insurgency

Letter from Peter Mahon, Guelph Jail, 25 May 1868.

November 4th: After the Fenians

Intelligence Reports, District Intelligence Office, Montreal, 1920-21

Macdonald Papers

To narrow your search, select Advanced Search on the right. Then add keywords to the All These Words box. Put synonyms or word variations--e.g. Fenian Fenians--in the Any of These Words box. You can also narrow by year--but not to a specific month or day. Here's an example:

Macdonald Papers - Search example

Macdonald Papers (Library & Archives Canada) - Search Help

Sir John A. Macdonald Papers (Library & Archives Canada) - Finding Aid

Fenian Brotherhood Sources

Fenian Brotherhood Collection - Catholic University of American (CUA) - Search

Fenian Brotherhood Collection - CUA - About

Fenian Brotherhood Collection - Villanova University - Search

O'Neill Report on the Battle of Ridgeway, 1870


Supplementary Readings

CLT416 / HIS1440 - David Wilson's Select Bibliography


Dallison, Robert L. Turning Back the Fenians New Brunswick’s Last Colonial Campaign. Fredericton, N.B: Goose Lane Editions, 2006.

Jenkins, Brian. The Fenian Problem: Insurgency and Terrorism in a Liberal State, 1858-1874. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.

McGee, Thomas d’Arcy. An Account of the Attempts to Establish Fenianism in Montreal: A Memoir. Montreal: Post Print. and Pub. Co., 1882.

McGee, Thomas d’Arcy. The Irish Position in British and in Republican North America: A Letter to the Editors of the Irish Press, Irrespective of Party. 2nd ed. Montreal: M. Longmoore, 1866.

Monck, Charles [Governor-General of Canada]. Correspondence Respecting the Recent Fenian Aggression Upon Canada. London: Harrison, 1867.

O’Connor, John, and John Young Lisgar. Letters of John O’Connor, M.P. on Fenianism: Addressed to His Excellency the Right Honourable John Young, Bart., P. C., G.C.B., G.C.MG., Governor-General of Canada. Toronto: Hunter, Rose, 1870.

Salyer, Lucy E. Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018.

Senior, Hereward. The Last Invasion of Canada: The Fenian Raids, 1866-1870. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1991.

Waller, W. H. Something About Ireland as It Is, and Fenianism: Together with Some Suggestions for the Consideration of the Canadian People and Government. Ottawa, 1868.

Whitaker, Reginald, Gregory S. Kealey, and Andrew Parnaby. Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada: From the Fenians to Fortress America. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.