Robert O’Neill lives in Gilbert, Arizona, married to the former Helen Ann Parke from Concord, Massachusetts. She is a retired Special Education teacher. Together they have six grown children and six grandchildren. In August 2020 they celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Robert holds a MA in Modern European History from the University of Arizona (1968). From the University of Chicago he also holds a Ph.D in Early Modern History (1975) and a MA in Library Science (1976). From 1987 until his retirement in 2013, at Boston College in Massachusetts, he was the Director of the John J. Burns Library. Prior to his tenure in Boston, Robert was the Director of the Indiana Historical Society Library in Indianapolis and Head of Special Collections at Indiana State University, where he was also an Associate Professor of Library Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Robert has many published books including “The Art of the Book: A Journey through a Thousand Years” and many published articles including “Sting! The Irish Stones Caper: A Case Study in International Cooperation Involving the Recovery of Stolen Antiquities”, “Safe Deposit : Time Capsule, The Liturgy and Life Collection”, “The Irish Book in the United States: An Overview”.
Robert was honored by the Irish and American governments for his role in the recovery of stolen Irish artefacts in 1991. In 2003 he received the Eire Society of Boston’s Gold Medal and was named to Irish Americas Magazine’s Top 100 Irish Americans.