NUI Galway and RIA honour Pioneering cartographer who mapped Connemara

This image of Tim Robinson is by Nicolas Fève (photographer involved in the Book) taken in Roundstone, Co Galway
Oct 01 2014 Posted: 10:32 IST

Pioneering cartographer and writer, Tim Robinson whose archive is based at NUI Galway has been honoured by a series of events at the University and the Royal Irish Academy to mark the publication of Connemara and Elsewhere.  On Tuesday, 30 September (yesterday) NUI Galway honoured the Robinsons’ unique contribution to Irish literature and landscape studies with a new book, Connemara and Elsewhere as well as with an associated exhibition and international symposium entitled, Interpreting Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland

The publication Connemara and Elsewhere was launched by Vincent Woods following the day-long international symposium held in Robinson’s honour at the University’s Moore Institute. The accompanying exhibition, ‘Interpreting  Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland’, based on the Robinson archive with photographs and extracts from Connemara and Elsewhere, will run from 30 September 2014 to 31 January 2015. A screening of ‘Unfolding the landscape’ a filmed interview with Vincent Woods and Tim Robinson, commissioned by NUI Galway also featured during the symposium.

Connemara and Elsewhere, published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from Galway University Foundation marks the completion of Robinson’s forty-year labour of love. The book, edited by Professor Jane Conroy includes contributions from photographer Nicolas Fève and writer, John Elder and also features three new essays by Tim Robinson as he turns his attention elsewhere.

Speaking at the launch, Editor of Connemara and Elsewhere, Professor Jane Conroy remarked, "Tim Robinson’s work has offered many readers new ways into Connemara and into meditating on their own experience of it. This book provides a further point of entry to the places and lifeworlds he evokes, explored through the lens of text and camera."

Since moving to the Aran Islands in 1972, Yorkshire-born cartographer Tim Robinson has spent forty years mapping and writing about the Galway Bay area.  The internationally-acclaimed writer and map-maker has published unique and detailed maps of Connemara, the Burren and the Aran Islands and subsequently he wrote several books about these landscapes, including the acclaimed trilogy, Connemara.

The Tim Robinson archive, consists of notebooks, notecards, drafts of his maps and books, and correspondence, totalling close to 100,000 items. It joins other important archives in the James Hardiman Library related to landscape and, in particular, to documenting the places and people of the west of Ireland. 

President of NUI Galway, Dr  Jim Browne said: “The lore of place - dinnseanchas - is a special strand of the Irish literary tradition, drawing on notions of place, history and myth.  The corpus of Tim Robinson’s work in the West of Ireland can be seen as a unique act of modern dinnseanchas.  His work - like that of the scribes of the early Middle Ages – preserves an intimate knowledge of Connemara, Aran, the Burren and is dedicated to experiencing these places in ways that are beyond the scope of maps or words or memory.  It stands as an enduring meditation on place. 

NUI Galway is fortunate to share a deeply-valued association with Tim and Máiréad.  As a university we are enriched by Tim’s life’s work.  We are proud to hold his archive in trust for future generations. “

The publication will be available at all major book stores nationwide. Booking for the events in Dublin and Galway is free but essential. See and


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