Neil Jordan

#IrishFilmHistory: Neil Jordan donates archive to National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland has today announced receipt of the archive of award-wining Irish screenwriter, director and producer, Neil Jordan. The archive includes film and TV scripts, production files, storyboards, plays, notebooks and personal correspondence with artistic collaborators and political figures.

Born in Sligo in 1950, Neil Jordan has achieved international critical acclaim for his writing and directing; his films include Michael Collins (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), and Breakfast on Pluto (2005). In 1992, he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Crying Game, which he wrote and directed. In 2003, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Film and Television Academy.

Neil Jordan’s extensive archive reveals a creative career that has spanned disciplines and decades. Highlights include:

  • Behind the scenes photography of the Oscar-nominated Michael Collins while filming on location in Dublin;
  • Research notes for the Oscar-nominated Interview with the Vampire;
  • Handwritten letters from collaborators and colleagues, such as one from Sinéad O’Connor regarding a song she wrote for The Butcher Boy;
  • Drafts of Neil Jordan’s literary work.

The donation, made under Section 1003 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, was marked at a special event in the NLI today, attended by Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD. It follows a previous donation made to the NLI by Mr Jordan in 1993.

This donation is unique and represents a significant item of Irish cultural heritage. It provides a fuller understanding of each of Neil’s films and is an important insight into his creative process and practice in both film and literature. The National Library is a treasure trove for Irish film history, and this generous donation is a deeply important addition and ensures the safeguarding of the material for generations to come.
Josepha Madigan TD – Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

The National Library of Ireland plays an essential role in protecting our country’s visual culture and heritage and I am happy to entrust my archive to it. I have often used its magnificent reading room for research and written drafts of short-stories, novels and screenplays there.

Ireland will always be home; it gave me my start in writing and filmmaking and has served as the inspiration and backdrop for so much of my work. I am very happy for my archive to remain here, where I hope it will be consulted by all those with an interest in film.
Neil Jordan

The National Library of Ireland is committed to preserving the story of Ireland through literature, film, still image, born digital content and more. Neil Jordan has had an indelible impact on filmmaking at home and abroad, and we are delighted that he has chosen to donate his rich and diverse archive to the NLI. We look forward to making this generous donation accessible to fans, researchers and the next generation of Irish filmmakers.

Section 1003 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 enables hugely significant heritage materials such as this archive to be added to the Irish national collections, where they will be preserved and shared with the nation, and is particularly important as there is so much international interest in acquiring Irish archives.
Dr Sandra Collins, Director – National Library of Ireland

Jordan has previously gifted materials to the NLI in 1993. It mainly comprises of typescript draft scripts and screenplays, and handwritten production notes relating to his films AngelMona LisaHigh SpiritsWe’re No AngelsThe Miracle and The Crying Game, covering the years 1980-1992. Also included are some miscellaneous film and play treatments. A list is available here.

The National Library of Ireland is the library of record for Ireland. Established in 1877, it shares the story of Ireland with the world through its unique collections. The NLI cares for more than ten million items, including books, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, prints, maps, drawings, ephemera, music and digital media. The Library is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections. The five strategic priorities for the National Library of Ireland for 2016-2021 are to collect, protect, connect, innovate and collaborate.

Further information about the NLI is available at: