It’s not only people quarantined by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also books.
I’ve been trying to obtain a copy of Irish-American diaspora nationalism: the Friends of Irish Freedom, 1916-35, by Michael Doorley. In a History Ireland article about the 1916-1921 revolutionary period, he wrote:
The development of the FOIF illustrates the impact of the changing character of the Irish immigrant group in America and the American political situation on Irish-American nationalism. Irish-Americans took pride in their American identity and their contribution to the American nation, and this sense of American identity also colored the Irish-American nationalism of the FOIF. Given the increasing tensions between Sinn Féin and the FOIF … [the November 1920] public rupture between both bodies was inevitable.
For the record, my main interest in this book is to learn more background and context about the News Letter published from 1919 to 1922 by the FOIF-affiliated Irish National Bureau.
This book is shelved at three university libraries and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., within an hour of my apartment. Under normal circumstances, I would visit the stacks and read the book in the library. But the libraries are closed due to the pandemic.
My local Arlington County (Virginia) Public Library, a 5-minute walk from home, provides inter-library loans from a nationwide network. That service also is discontinued.
I can’t find Doorley’s book for sale online. Publisher Four Courts Press no longer has any copies in stock. I emailed the publisher about obtaining a .pdf copy of the 2005 title, but FCP replied this option is not available more than five years after publication. Amazon and other online book sellers do not list copies for sale.
I emailed Doorley, who I met last November at the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland conference in Belfast. He generously offered to make available a copy … but we discovered An Post is not delivering parcels to America, only letters, due to the pandemic.
What to do? Patience will prevail, I suppose; the libraries or inter-library loan service will reopen eventually. That could take some time, however, given America’s poor handling of the pandemic.
I hope that publishing this piece and posting it on social media will help. Does anyone have a copy of Doorley’s book for sale or loan?