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Voluntary Methodist Church Archivist receives Honorary Degree

Reverend Robin Roddie, historian, researcher, and archivist has been awarded the Honorary degree of Master of the University by The Open University in Belfast on Friday 11 March 2022.

For nearly twenty-five years, Reverend Roddie has served as the Archivist for the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland, and he has been honoured for this pursuit. Committed to recording, analysing, and promoting accounts of Methodist life in Ireland, the Reverend has made an invaluable contribution to religious and secular histories across this island of Ireland and beyond.

Born in Cork and now living in Belfast, Reverend Robin Roddie has had a long career as a Minister within the Methodist Church. In his mid-forties, Reverend Roddie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Open University.  Currently working in a voluntary capacity, Reverend Roddie oversees an internationally significant collection and resource, which includes more than six thousand rare manuscript items and early pamphlets together with an equally important collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century material including periodicals, diaries, and letters.

John D’Arcy, Director of The Open University in Ireland said, “It is always a particular pleasure to honour one of our own former students.  In both his commitment to life-long learning, and his determination to ensure that knowledge of the past is accurately recorded and easily available, Reverend Roddie exemplifies our own values and beliefs here in The Open University. His painstaking and detailed work in the archives not only represents a significant contribution to Irish history in its own right, but also lays the foundations for current and future historical research. We are delighted to recognise his contribution to Irish archives, scholarship and history.”

Upon receipt of this accolade, Reverend Roddie said; “I am honoured and grateful to receive an Honorary degree from the Open University. I am grateful most of all because this award draws attention to the work of archives and in particular to that of often neglected religious archives. Much of the memory of our past is to be found in the records of our religious communities and the information captured in these archives forms a crucial element of our national heritage.”

Reverend Roddie has developed a rich resource not just for church and religious history, but also for the economic, political, social, and cultural story of Ireland.

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