Literature pre-1900 in approximate chronological order


An overview of early literature taken directly from J. Adams 'A Synopsis of Irish Algæ, Freshwater and Marine' 1908/1909.


The first attempt at an enumeration of Irish Algae is found in Threlkeld's " Synopsis Stirpium Hibernicarum," published in 1726. The list is a very meagre one, numbering about twelve marine species.


To William Tighe, however, belongs the honour of publishing, in 1802, the first paper of real importance on the distribution of the group in Ireland. This was entitled "Marine plants observed on the coast of the County of Wexford," and was read before the Royal Dublin Society. It included 58 marine and 2 freshwater species.  in 1836, while in the same year appeared Mackay's "Flora Hibernica." This was the most important work yet R. I. A. PROC., VOL. XXVII., SECT. B. [D]


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy published, and contained a general survey of all Irish species and of their distribution so far as they were known at the time. The section on Algae was written by W. H. Harvey, who afterwards did much in the investigation of the marine species. In this work, after making certain corrections which a fuller investigation of some species had rendered necessary, 296 species were included with Freshwater & Marine Diatomaceae.


The most outstanding names in connection with Irish Algae since Mackay's time are those of Harvey, Archer, and O'Meara. Harvey's work was chiefly among the marine forms, and his "Phycologia Britannica ' (1846-51) was a most authoritative treatise dealing with the species found on the coasts of Britain and Ireland.


O'Meara, on the other hand, worked exclusively at Diatoms, freshwater and marine, and it was his intention to publish a complete account of Irish Diatoms. The first part appeared in a paper read before the Royal Irish Academy in 1875, and contained 426 species. The final part never appeared, as he seems to have died soon after. 


Among freshwater forms the only recent workers have been the Wests, father and son. In 1892 William West published an important paper on the " Freshwater Algae of West Ireland," dealing with 617 species. In 1902 they read conjointly before the Royal Irish Academy an equally important communication on the "Freshwater Algae of the North of Ireland," containing 614 species; while in 1906 they read a further paper before the Academy on " The Plankton of Irish Lakes."


A Synopsis of the British Diatomaceae

Papers by E. O'Meara

(1858) Catalogue of Diatomacea collected in Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, (Dublin Univ. Zool. and Bot. Ass.) in Nat. Hist. Rev. 5, 123-4.


(1858) Contributions to a catalogue of diatomaceae of the County Dublin, ibid. 5, 271-2.


(1866) Diatoms from the surface of a lake near Seaforde, Co. Down. Quart. J. Micr. Sci. (N.S.) 6, 273 (in Proceedings).


(1867) On diatoms dredged at Rostrevor, Co. Down. ibid. 7, 85-6 (in Proceedings).    


(1867) On diatoms dredged by Dr Wright of the Aran Islands, ibid. 7, 88-9 (in Proceedings).


(1867) On some new and rare Diatomaceae from the west coast of Ireland, ibid. 7, 113-8 +, PL 5.


(1867) On new forms of Diatomaceae from dredgings off the Aran Islands, Co. Galway. ibid. 7, 245-7 + PL 7.


An interesting spat!

(1868) On new species of Diatomaceae: being a reply to Mr Kitton's remarks, ibid. 8, 73-9.

NEW SPECIES of DIATOMACEAE. By F. KITTON, Esq. - Kittons reply!


Report of the Irish Diatomaceae
(1875)Part 1. Proceeding of the Royal Irish Academy.(2nd Ser.) 2, 235-425.
A classic work on Irish diatoms although there has been considerable criticism of the plates.
Report on the Irish Diatomaceæ.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 22.2 MB

Firth, W. A. and Swanston, W. (1887-8) References to the diatomaceous deposits at Lough Mourne and in the Mourne Mountains. Proc. Belfast. Nat. Field Club (Ser. 2) 3, 262-4.