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There is a new way to explore your Irish heritage on PEI. The Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) Edward Whelan Cultural Centre at 582 North River Road recently completed cataloguing approximately 1600 books for their library and have opened the doors to the public as a Lending Library.


The library project at the BIS building in Charlottetown began as a dream of the late Past President George O’Connor and has been expanded through generous donations from the personal collections of several Irish descendants including playwright Michael Hennessey, the estate of the late Dr. Brendan O’Grady, and retired Justice George Mullally, the Honorary Patron of the BIS. The new library’s collection contains hundreds of works of both fiction and non-fiction. Approximately half of the non-fiction books are located in the History section covering the full range of Irish history including the history of the Irish in North America, particularly PEI. Other well-stocked sections in non-fiction are Genealogy, Folklore, and Biography with good representation under Drama, Poetry, Literature, Religion, and Travel.

In addition to the above-mentioned books which can be borrowed by BIS members and the general public, there is a non-circulating section containing magazines, periodicals, and very old books that can be enjoyed in the bright and spacious room itself. The library is staffed by volunteers and is open on Mondays thru Fridays 10:00-1:00 except when schools are closed.  On those days the lending library is also closed.

Covid-19 protocols are in place and visitors are asked to wear a mask. Although the library is located on the lower level at 582 North River Road, it is fully accessible via the elevator at the main entrance. For further information or to join the volunteer committee, please contact Paula at 902-629-0340.

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