Informative Display

Published March 2018 by Goodwin
display for Albert Casey Collection

March is Irish American Heritage Month and we're celebrating in the library by highlighting Samford's Irish collection, donated by Albert Eugene Casey. The only other Irish collection in the United States on par with Samford's is located at Yale University. The Casey Collection is so unique that people have even visited Samford from Ireland in order to access the information found here.

The collection contains maps, periodicals, and books. According to Annie Ford Wheeler, the Head of the Library in 1976, “The Casey gift contained many rare volumes and many titles which now would be difficult, if not impossible, to acquire.”


One of the oldest pieces in the collection is this Irish history printed in 1633 and inset with woodblock print maps like this one.

Stafford, Thomas, Sir 1633
Pacata Hibernia, Ireland appeased and reduced: or, An historie of the late warres of Ireland, especially within the province of Mounster, under the government of Sir George Carew, wherein the siedge of Kinsale, the defeat of the Earle of Tyrone, and his armie; the expulsion and sending home of Don Juan de Aguila, the Spanish generall, with his forces; and many other remarkeable passages of that time are related
DA937 .S77 1633 Casey Collection
Special Collection, Samford University Library


Bilingual book in Gaelic and English

O'Donovan, John
The tribes and customs of Hy-Many, commonly called O'Kelly's country / from the Book of Lecan ; with a translation and notes, and maps of Hy-Many
DA990.R7 T7 1843x Casey Collection
Special Collection, Samford University Library


According to this 1877 guide to Ireland, this is the Wicklow near the Bray River where St. Patrick may have first landed

Savage, John, 1877
Picturesque Ireland : a literary and artistic delineation of the natural scenery, remarkable places, historical antiquities, public buildings, ancient abbeys, towers, castles, and other romantic and attractive features of Ireland / edited by John Savage ; illustrated in steel and wood, by eminent native and foreign artists
DA975 .S26 1877 vols.1-2, Casey Collection
Special Collection, Samford University Library

Photo of Albert E. Casey

Albert Eugene Casey, M.D.


Dr. Albert Casey was born in New York City in 1903 and received his medical degree from St. Louis University in 1927. From there he embarked on a professional academic research career that took him to institutions such as The Rockfeller Institute, the University of Virginia, and Louisiana State University before coming to the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He would later go on to serve as the Medical Director to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama and to the Birmingham Red Cross, the president of the Baptist Hospital Medical Staff, and the Secretary and President of the Alabama Association of Pathology. He would also collaborate heavily with Dr. George Snell of the Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, who eventually shared the Nobel Prize in 1980.

While pathology was his professional and academic focus, genealogy was his personal obsession. Dr. Casey's family came from a small area in the counties of Cork and Kerry in southwest Ireland. Between his own efforts and those of local Irish researchers, he was able to compile information on over 3,000,000 names from that area. This collection includes Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Quaker birth/death/marriage records, tomestone inscriptions, newspaper abstracts, civil documents, court records and more dating back hundreds of years–with some records even dating back to 52 B.C.–and was published in 16 volumes between 1952 and 1971.

In the early 1970s, Dr. Casey donated a set of his published works along with an expansive collection of support documents to Samford University. The Casey Collection is a non-circulating part of the Samford University Library Special Collection.

While all the books are listed in the Samford Libraries Catalog, a bibliography was published of materials in 1976 and is available online.