Charles MacDouall Papers

Scope and Content

Collection of holograph papers and working notes of Professor Charles MacDouall (1813-83), Professor of Latin and subsequently of Greek at Queen's College, Belfast, (1849-78). The collection consists of finished essays, reference aids, lectures, emendations and miscellaneous notes prepared and used by MacDouall in his work, reflecting his wide range of academic interests and pursuits. Topics highlighted include comparative philology, etymology, religious and philosophical ideas and systems, Semitic and Indo-European languages, Latin verse and the drama, customs and dress of different countries e.g. Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ancient Greece etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

Professor Charles MacDouall (1818-83), born near Edinburgh in 1813. Educated at Edinburgh High School and the University of Edinburgh. He was elected Professor of Hebrew at the University in 1847, but his appointment was interdicted by the Edinburgh Presbytery. MacDouall then went on the join the fledgling Queen's College, Belfast in 1849 as Professor of Latin, although swiftly transferring to Professor of Greek when it became available in July 1850. He remained at Queen's, where he was a solid favourite amongst his students, until his retirement in 1878. He died a few years later in Belfast during 1883.Publications: Inaugural lecture on the study of oriental languages, (with C.P. Reichel); A Letter to the President of Queen's College, Belfast, on some recent alterations in the course of the Queen's University (1861, printed privately); The Origin of the Legend of the Holy Grail (1903, with an introduction by A.L. Meissner, QUB Librarian).

Access Information

Open to consultation.

Acquisition Information

The MacDouall Papers are managed as a separate unit reflecting their original provenance; new material is not acquired. It is unclear whether the collection was purchased by the Library or presented on permanent deposit.


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

Other Finding Aids

Hard-copy catalogue available. See 'Calendar of Manuscripts Western and Oriental' for details (MS6). This calendar is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying permitted depending on physical condition of the original and relevant copyright restrictions.

Appraisal Information

The collection is significant for reflecting the interests and illustrating some of the work methods/techniques of a reputable 19th century academic.

Custodial History

It is unclear how and when the MacDouall papers were presented to the University Library. It is, however feasible that they were part of an original deposit of books (see MacDouall Collection, QUB) made in 1879 that had been purchased from MacDouall's personal library following his retirement from the College in 1878.



Related Material

MacDouall Collection (QUB)