Gaelic Manuscripts

Scope and Content

Small collection of 23 Gaelic manuscripts relating to Ireland and to the activities of Irishmen at home and abroad. A relatively small collection of materials, it consists largely of fragments of both religious and secular verse, topographical poems and other tracts and tales dating mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Of those identified, featured scribes include Sean O'Dubhagain (John O'Donovan, b. 1809, Co. Kilkenny?), Michael O'Dobhrachain (Co. Clare), John O'Connell, Richard Fitzgerald and Seamus Mac An Chromhghall. English translations are also available for some of the items to be found.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Library at Queen's was established in 1849 following the foundation of the original college in 1845. Based initially in the Great Hall, and, from 1869, in its own separate accomodation, the Library catered to the needs of all students enrolled in the college before future growth and expansion dictated otherwise. Today the Library is dispersed across a number of departmental libraries throughout Northern Ireland each providing access to what has become one of the largest collections of books, periodicals and pamphlets in the province with over one million items noted in the official library catalogue. Principal centres include the Main Library (with additional 1960s tower block) situated on the main campus site, the Medical Library at RVH, the Science Library in Chlorine Gardens (opened 1969), the Agriculture and Food Science Library at Newforge Lane (1970s), the Biomedical libraries in the City Hospital and in the Medical Biology Centre (Lisburn Rd), the Veterinary Research Library, the Seamus Heaney Library (1997) and the Campus Libraries at Armagh and Altnagelvin. Although largely adminstered as a separate unit for most of its history, the Library was recently amalgamated with the University's Computer Services and Audio-Visual departments to form a new Information Services department in the year 2000.

Access Information

Open to consultation. This microfilmed collection is open to consultation by registered members of the University Library and is available from the Main Library Issue Desk.


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

Other Finding Aids

Manual handlist only available. See 'Calendar of Manuscripts Western and Oriental' for details (MicA 428). This calendar is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to condition and copyright restrictions

Appraisal Information

This collection would be a notable resource for students of the Gaelic language and other Celtic Studies. Examples of Northern Poetry in Irish are a particular feature.

Custodial History

This collection of Gaelic manuscripts is drawn from material held by St. Macartan's College, Monaghan (4 items), QUB Library (18 mss) and King's Inn Library, Dublin (1 item). The microfilming was carried out and completed in Dublin in 1969. It is unclear whether the original manuscripts at Queen's are still available there.



Additional Information

It is unclear whether the original manuscripts are still available.