The National Library of Ireland has been given the medal awarded to Irish poet WB Yeats for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923.
The Yeats family donated the medal to the library at a special event last week. It is valued at over £1 million, and the Swedish academy gave him the honour for ‘giving expression to the spirit of a whole nation’.
“We are honoured to receive WB Yeats’s Nobel Prize medal and we are extremely grateful for the extraordinary generosity of generations of the Yeats family,” said Dr Sandra Collins, director of the NLI.
“The library already holds the personal library and papers of WB Yeats and the donation of his Nobel Prize medal really completes the story of one of Ireland’s greatest poets here in the National Library.”
The library has what they call the largest archive of Yeats work in the world, after the family had previously given it a substantial amount of his manuscripts from his personal library 14 years ago.
Catriona Yeats, the poet’s granddaughter, said: “The donation of the WB Yeats Nobel Prize medal and citation to the National Library of Ireland, together with related letters and telegrams of congratulation to the poet on his winning the award, continues a longstanding family tradition and we are delighted that the medal will be added to the library’s Yeats Collection.”