Judge James J. Shaw Collection

Scope and Content

Papers of the Ulster-born academic, Judge James Johnston Shaw (1845-1910). The collection includes correspondence, notes, lectures and other papers primarily concerning Shaw's early career as Professor of Metaphysics and Ethics at Magee College Derry (1869-78) and as Professor of Political Economy at Trinity College Dublin (1876-91), and later, as Chairman of the "Belfast University Commissioners" (1908-10), who were charged with framing the governing statutes of the new Queen's University of Belfast. The collection also contains series of letters from friends and colleagues providing an interesting insight into Shaw's personal life and opinions and those of his correspondents. Principal correspondents include Sir Samuel Dill (1844-1924), the Rev. S.L. Harrison of Castlebellingham (fl. 1868-1910), and John Park of Belfast (1838-1913), all former students of Queen's College Belfast, and the Rev. James Rowan of Kirkcubbin (fl. 1859-1877), a former mentor, and his brother, John Shaw (fl. 1900-1910). An important and respected figure in both Irish educational and legal circles at the time, the collection also includes a number of draft memoirs and addresses on Shaw by some of his contemporaries delivered after his death in 1910.

Administrative / Biographical History

b. Co. Down, 1845. Ed. Queen's College Belfast, c. 1861-65. Professor of Metaphysics and Ethics, Magee College, Londonderry, 1869-1878. Called to the Bar in 1878. Whately Professor of Political Economy, Trinity College Dublin, 1876-91. Commissioner of National Education and County Court Judge for Kerry, 1891. County Court Judge for Antrim and Recorder of Belfast, 1909. Also served as Chairman of the 'Belfast Commissioners' responsible for framing the statutes of Queen's University Belfast and Pro-Chancellor. d. 1910.

Sources: Queen's Belfast, 1845-1949: the history of a university, T.W. Moody and J.C. Beckett (1959)Sources: Queen's Belfast, 1845-1949: the history of a university, T.W. Moody and J.C. Beckett (1959)Dictionary of Ulster Biography, Kate Newmann (Belfast, 1994)

Access Information

Open to consultation


Description compiled by Clare McVeigh, RASCAL Project, entered by Deirdre Wildy, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

Handlist available in the Special Collections office.

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to condition and copyright restrictions

Appraisal Information

This collection is important for reflecting the concerns and interests of a 19th century academic and educationalist.

Custodial History

The collection was deposited in the University Library by Professor G. Waterhouse of Belfast, c. 1967?