Postcard image of Lynn, Massachusetts. Circa 1920.

The Museum of Newport Irish History announces the fifth talk in its 19th Annual Michael F. Crowley Lecture Series, to be presented “virtually” on Wednesday, April 21 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Dr. Janet Nolan, history professor emerita and noted author, will present an illustrated talk entitled, “When Harry Met Mary Ann: An Irish Family in an American City,” which explores her own family’s Irish immigrant experience.

The story Dr. Nolan will share is both a micro and a macro history of one Irish-American family, the Donovan-Nolans, and one New England industrial city, Lynn, Massachusetts. The story is also representative of a far larger story, the story of Irish emigrants to America and the steep slope they climbed into the American middle class, one that is echoed in millions of Irish-American families throughout the United States.

    Postcard image of Lynn, Massachusetts. Circa 1920.

Janet Nolan is professor emerita of history at Loyola University Chicago where she taught Irish and Irish-American history for almost a quarter of a century. She is internationally known as a pioneering scholar of the role of women in Irish emigration history. Two of her books, Ourselves Alone: Women’s Emigration from Ireland, 1885-1920 (1989) and Servants of the Poor: Teachers and Mobility in Ireland and Irish America (2004), are considered fundamental to the growing understanding of women in the transatlantic history of the Irish. She has given talks on this subject throughout the U.S. and Europe and has appeared on American and Irish television and radio programs. After her retirement, Dr. Nolan resided in Newport County for a decade, before moving to the north shore of Boston, the land of her family’s American roots.

Portrait of Mary Ann (Donovan) Nolan, grandmother of Dr. Janet Nolan                                    

The lecture is free of charge, but reservations are required to receive the Zoom login information.

To reserve, visit the “Lectures” page at, where you may also access a complete lecture overview and speaker bio, plus videotapes of past lectures.  For additional information, contact Ann Arnold at or (401) 841-5493.