Alexander Thom (almanac editor)

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Alexander Thom (1801–1879) was a Scottish publisher, the founder of Thom's Irish Almanac.

Life

He was born at Findhorn in Moray, the son of the writer and journalist Walter Thom. He was educated at the High School, Edinburgh, and went to Dublin at age 20 to assist his father in the management of the Dublin Journal. On his father's death he obtained, through the influence of Sir Robert Peel, the contract for printing for the post office in Ireland. In 1838 he obtained the contract for the printing for all royal commissions in Ireland, and in 1876 was appointed to the post of Queen's Printer for Ireland.[1]

In 1844 Thom founded the work for which he is known, the Irish Almanac and Official Directory, which became a leader in its field. It incorporated statistics relating to Ireland.[1] Thom supervised its publication for over 30 years, passing the copyright to his son-in-law Frederick Pilkington in 1876.[2] "Thom's Directory" was revised annually; in 1960 it was split into Thom's Dublin Street Directory and Thom's Commercial Directory, revised in alternate years until 2006.[3] James Joyce relied heavily on the 1904 edition when writing Ulysses.[4]

In 1860 he published for free distribution A Collection of Tracts and Treatises illustrative of the Natural History, Antiquities, and the Political and Social State of Ireland, two volumes[5][6] which contain reprints of writers on Irish affairs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Included are works of James Ware, Edmund Spenser, Sir John Davies, William Petty, George Berkeley, and others such as Gerard Boate, Thomas Prior and Arthur Dobbs.[1]

In 1878, during a printers' strike in Dublin, Thom sent work to Scotland. The resulting publicity brought the issue to the attention of the Westminster Parliament.[7]

Thom, who was twice married, died at his residence, Donnycarney House, near Dublin, on 22 December 1879.[1]

Thom's Directory

Thom's Directory remains

References

  1. ^ a b c d  "Thom, Alexander". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. ^ Benson, C. J. "Thom, Alexander". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27189. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Oliver, Emmet (13 August 2005). "End of the road for Thom's street directory". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  4. ^ Ó Gráda, Cormac (Summer 2004). "Lost in Little Jerusalem: Leopold Bloom and Irish Jewry". Journal of Modern Literature. Indiana University Press. 27 (4): 17–26 : 23. JSTOR 3831802.
  5. ^ James Hewitt, 4th Viscount Lifford (1860). A collection of tracts and treatises illustrative of the natural history, antiquities, and the political and social state of Ireland: at various periods prior to the present century (I). Reprinted by A. Thom. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  6. ^ James Hewitt, 4th Viscount Lifford (1861). A collection of tracts and treatises illustrative of the natural history, antiquities, and the political and social state of Ireland: at various periods prior to the present century (II). Reprinted by A. Thom. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  7. ^ Laurel Brake; Marysa Demoor (2009). Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Academia Press. p. 623. ISBN 978-90-382-1340-8. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Thom, Alexander". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

External links

  • Alexander Thom at Find a Grave
  • Maps of Dublin accompanying Thom's Official Directory, 1874-1898. A UCD Digital Library Collection.
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