It is good to see the formation of a much-needed board to oversee the future of the American Irish Historical Society, the venerable Irish American organization that is a jewel in the crown of Irish America.

The inclusion of names like Jim Normille, a stalwart presence at the society for decades, and historian and writer Terry Galway is reassuring evidence that the new American Irish Historical Society board will be well constituted and run.

They have also left room for new board members with helpful access or skills to join if needed.

It should be stressed that the board faces a very rugged task in re-inventing the American Irish Historical Society and handling the upkeep of the beautiful premises on Fifth Avenue, opposite the Metropolitan Museum, which makes it by far the most splendid Irish building in America.

Inside its elegant doors is a vast repository of incredibly valuable books and artifacts from Irish American history unmatched anywhere in Irish America.

The AIHS's library houses more than 10,000 volumes, the most complete private collection of Irish and American Irish history and literature in the US.

The library also features a temperature-controlled rare books room that holds another 1,000 volumes, an unparalleled collection of newspapers and newsletters dating back to the late 18th century, and several early and mid-19th century newspapers, such as The Nation, The United Irishman, and the Dublin Penny Journal. There are original letters from Patrick Pearse and Charles Stewart Parnell as well as an original tricolor flag that flew over the GPO in 1916.

The question of how historians and scholars can access the collection, the urgent need to have an online record of every important document, and an accounting of what exactly is contained in the library will be a major undertaking.

The AIHS headquarters also boasts a significant event space that can surely be used for artistic and fundraising events. the issue of how the building itself can become a living and vibrant entity must be addressed.

Of course, the financial aspect of what will be on a daunting task has yet to be dealt with.

The society has gone through a time of great turmoil which led to the intervention of New York State Attorney General Letitia James who appointed an interim board of an interim board after 41,000 Irish Americans had expressed their opinion in a petition that major change was needed and that a proper framework and chain of command was a priority.

The Irish government also played a huge role in pulling the society back from the brink after the previous committee made an ill-judged attempt to sell off the building.

In the heel of the hunt (as legendary writer Tom Flanagan, a long-term board member, might say given it was the title of one of his bestsellers), sure there are problems ahead, but for the first time, there is clarity and accountability which Chairman Normile will surely give top priority.

But at the moment, let us ponder and celebrate that the institution called the American Irish Historical Society has, at last, a chance of a future with no turmoil or dissent which has been the norm alas for the last decade. What has been accomplished so far is truly impressive.

*Note: Niall O'Dowd is a former board member of the American Irish Historical Society.