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Irish Mythology: Getting started

Children of Lir

Children of Lir

A sculpture of the Children of Lir at The Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The original Irish title of this tale is Clann Lir or Leannaí Lir, which is a part of the Irish Mythological cycle.

Library Information

This guide will connect you with resources to find books, journal articles, and information from reference sources. If you have any questions, just ask us!

Getting Started with your Research

Some tips to get you started:

  • Understand your assignment.  What kind of information do you need?  Peer-reviewed journal articles, literary criticism, biographical information?
  • Know your deadlines.  It is so much easier to do your research early so that you will have plenty of time to write your paper.
  • Develop your topic.  Narrowing your broad idea to a specific question you want to research will save you much time and effort.
  • Brainstorm keywords.  Think about keywords related to each aspect of your topic to help in searching.

If you run into any trouble at any point in your research process, you can always Ask Us for help. 

Another advantage to starting your research early: you can schedule a consultation with a librarian. Librarians are here to help you navigate the many resources available to you, and a consultation is a great opportunity to make sure you are looking in the right places. Librarians are glad to help!


Search tips for Irish Mythology sources

There are several key words you can use when conducting your search through the reference materials, books, databases, and web resources listed on this research guide. Using proper names of gods, heroes, or tales to search can be problematic since a name such as Cúchulainn can have several different spellings (Cuchulain, Cuchulainn, or Cuchullain). Remember that sources can use variants to index this topic such as Irish or Ireland so you will want to search for both. Searching for the term Celtic will include mythology from all of the British Isles, so not all of your results with be relevant to this topic. Likewise, words like folklore and legends may include sources that cover topics outside of the four mythological cycles, such as tales about faeries or saints. Using the full word mythology may restrict your results, so you can also search for myth which would include results for both words. To get more precise results, try using a combination of these terms such as (Irish AND Myth). To search for books and e-books, you can use the search strategies below in InfoKat (limited to UK libraries). You can use the same words to search databases or the web for related material.

For keyword searches, use:

  • Celtic myth
  • Irish folklore
  • Irish myth
  • Irish saga

For subject searches, use:

  • Epic Literature, Irish (includes English translations of some of the tales)
  • Legends--Ireland
  • Mythology, Celtic
  • Mythology, Irish
  • Tales--Ireland

Other terms that might be useful, but are not exclusive to the subject of Irish Mythology:

  • Celtic Folklore
  • Gaelic Revival
  • Literary Renaissance
  • Irish history
  • Irish culture

Irish language guides