It's your heritage...pass it on.

The Irish American Heritage Museum is a permanently chartered 501(c)3 non-profit with an educational mission. It is committed to the basic tenet that preserving one’s heritage is vital to providing a cultural and historical foundation to future generations of Americans.

Our museum in Albany, New York, provides year-round access to our exhibits, our Paul O’Dwyer Library, lectures, presentations, film screenings, book signings and other special programs and events.

The Museum was an integral force in providing instruction in New York State’s public schools about the Irish Famine of 1845-1853.  Further, we are the first Museum of its kind here in America to have exhibited at the National Library in Dublin.

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Upcoming Events

  • Hallowe'en Family Fun Festival! $10 per family.

    October 21, 2018

    Hallowe'en is an Irish holiday - based on the ancient Celtic "Samhain," which was the end of the old year. Oiche Shamhna is the Irish for Hallowe'en Night, and this afternoon we will celebrate all the old, traditional games, by Trick or Treating in the museum, bobbing for apples, eating Barmbrack to see what your fortune holds, and carving pumpkins. There will be a range of snacks and activities, including story-telling by Bill Combes. Suitable for all the family. Come in costume for an extra treat!

  • "Under the Starry Flag." Professor Lucy E Salyer discusses her new book.

    October 26, 2018

    Author and Professor Lucy E. Salyer will discuss and sign her new book, Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship The book will be on sale in the Museum. The riveting story of forty Irish Americans who set off to fight for Irish independence, only to be arrested by Queen Victoria's authorities and accused of treason: a tale of idealism and justice with profound implications for future conceptions of citizenship and immigration. In 1867 forty Irish American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today's immigration battles. The Fenians, as the freedom fighters were called, claimed American citizenship. British authorities disagreed, insisting that naturalized Irish Americans remained British subjects. Following in the wake of the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized anew the idea of citizenship as an inalienable right, as natural as freedom of speech and religion. The captivating trial of these men illustrated the stakes of extending those rights to arrivals from far-flung lands. The case of the Fenians, Lucy E. Salyer shows, led to landmark treaties and laws acknowledging the right of exit. The U.S. Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which guarantees the right to renounce one's citizenship, in the same month it granted citizenship to former American slaves. The small ruckus created by these impassioned Irish Americans provoked a human rights revolution that is not, even now, fully realized. Placing Reconstruction-era debates over citizenship within a global context, Under the Starry Flag raises important questions about citizenship and immigration. Lucy E. Salyer is Associate Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire and the author of Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law, which won the Theodore Saloutos Book Award for the best book on immigration history. A former Constance E. Smith Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Salyer has received the Arthur K. Whitcomb Professorship for teaching excellence and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

  • Adult Ghost Stories!

    October 27, 2018

    Steven O' Connor, Sheila O' Shea, Parker Cross, and Elizabeth Stack will share some of the creepiest Hallowe'en stories, from old Irish superstitions to more modern horror writers from America and Ireland! We will discuss fear and why people are drawn to things that scare them. You are welcome to share your encounter with the supernatural too or tell us an Albany story. Don't worry though - we'll give you something to replenish your spirits before sending you home! Donations appreciated.

  • A Night in November. A play set in Northern Ireland, written by Marie Jones.

    November 17, 2018

    Directed by Stephen O' Connor and starring Parker Cross. Friday & Saturday, 21st and 22nd at 7pm. Sunday 23rd September 3pm. The play follows Kenneth McAllister, a Protestant man from Belfast, who gets swept up in the excitement of the World Cup, as he travels to New York to support the Republic of Ireland. Interrogating the sectarian traditions that he was raised with, this very funny but poignant play is about a man realizing that he can have a hand in his own destiny. The themes of sectarianism, tolerance, and prejudice are still topical today.

  • Save the Date! The Governor Hugh L. Carey Awards Gala.

    November 30, 2018

    Join us for the Museum’s Annual Hugh L. Carey Awards Gala on Friday, November 30th at The Desmond Hotel in Albany, beginning with a 6:00 PM reception and a 7:00 PM dinner. For many years, Hugh Carey served on the Museum’s Board of Advisors, providing guidance and helping facilitate the Museum’s educational programs and events. The Museum’s Board of Trustees annually bestows the Hugh L. Carey Award reflecting the spirit of his own public service. The Award honors individuals who make significant contributions to improving our society, as Hugh Carey did, through community and public service; the arts; cultural endeavors; the health care, teaching, law/justice, science, sports/athletics and other professions. More details to follow.