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Thomas Moore at Queen's

Welcome to the website of Thomas Moore at Queen's.  Please click on the links on the left to access the relevant section. If you have any queries please contact: Dr Sarah McCleave at

Thomas Moore at Queen’s University Belfast

The Gibson-Massie Moore Collection on QCAT
User's Guide to the Gibson-Massie Moore Collection on QCAT
Future Plans for the Catalogue of the Gibson-Massie Moore Collection
A Case Study for Future Developments: A Selection of Irish Melodies with Symphonies and Accompaniments
An Indexed Table of the title papers from A Selection of Irish Melodies with Symphonies and Accompaniments
Moore in the Digital Image Gallery at Queen's
Further Digitisation
Cash, Corn and Catholics
Moore Readers' Survey


The Gibson-Massie Moore Collection at Queen’s University Belfast is the world’s largest collection of Thomas Moore’s published literary and musical works. It is not well known and rarely consulted. Assembled circa 1880-1915 by a prominent governor of the Linen Hall Library, Andrew Gibson, the collection was obtained by Queen’s from the P D Massie Estate in 1960.  It contains over a thousand volumes, embracing the complete run of published writings (poetry, lyrics, fiction, satire, correspondence, diaries, history, and biography) by Thomas Moore (1779-1852), frequently in a full sequence of first to late editions.  It holds over two hundred volumes of Irish Melodies in various editions, states, and issues (lyrics only, and lyrics with music) as well as 71 editions of Lalla Rookh published in the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands and elsewhere.  Three editions of the rarely found Odes upon Cash, Corn, Catholics and Other Matters (1828, 1829) are preserved in this brilliantly comprehensive collection. 

Queen’s is committed to developing its Moore Collection as a scholarly resource.  This present website is meant to serve as a platform for the collection and an introduction to current research resources connected with it.

The Gibson-Massie Moore Collection at QCAT

The Gibson-Massie Moore Collection is housed in Special Collections, in the Main Library at Queen’s University. Although the bulk of the collection was catalogued in 1997, some 200 volumes of music, chiefly Irish Melodies with Symphonies and Accompaniments, were not done at that time. These are currently being catalogued on QCAT, and the collection should be fully represented, online, by the end of June 2005.

Within the next two years, it is intended that the QCAT entries for the Gibson-Massie Moore Collection will be copied into a dedicated database which will enable a wider range of more focused online searches and more detailed indexing than is currently available.

User's Guide to the Gibson-Massie Moore Collection on QCAT

NB: for all searches, keep the “Library Branch” box on “All

To access all the catalogued entries for this collection, try the following search:

Author: Moore, Thomas
Sub-catalogue: Special Collections

This will isolate the entire collection, but will produce a file which is too large for the “sorting” facility.

To access all the volumes which contain music, try the following search:

Author: Moore, Thomas
Sub-catalogue: Special Collections
Keyword: Music

To access a particular genre, such as odes or ballads, try the following search:

Author: Moore, Thomas
Sub-catalogue: Special Collections
Keyword: Ode

To access a particular title for which there are many copies, such as Lalla Rookh, a keyword search may yield more hits:

Author: Moore, Thomas
Sub-catalogue: Special Collections
Keyword: Lalla Rookh

This yields 95 results. A search on Lalla Rookh by title yields 88 results. In both cases, the user will also retrieve printed editions of individual ballads etc. with texts from Lalla Rookh.

A found group of records can be sorted by date, author, or title, in ascending or descending order, by clicking on the appropriate icons on the screen.  If an alphabetical list of titles is wanted, your initial search must be done on the title field. 

Moore’s Irish Melodies, as text or text and music, were issued under various titles.  The Gibson-Massie Collection at Queen’s includes the following (this list is not comprehensive):

Irish Melodies
Irish Melodies: and a Melologue upon National Music
Irish Melodies and Miscellaneous Poems
Irish Melodies and Songs
Irish Melodies, Complete
Irish Melodies, National Airs, Sacred Songs, Ballads, Songs, &c.
Irish Melodies, Selection of, with Symphonies and Accompaniments
Irish Melodies, Songs, and Poems
Irish Melodies: with an Appendix, Containing the Original Advertisements, and the Prefatory Letter on Music
Irish Melodies: with the Celebrated and Unsurpassed Symphonies and Accompaniments

A keyword search on “Irish Melodies” yields 173 hits*, which includes individual poems or songs from the Irish Melodies which were published separately. It is not possible, however, to sort this list by title.

A title search on “Irish Melodies” yields 148 hits*, which can be sorted.

  • these numbers were correct as of 10 May 2005: they  will increase as the cataloguing is completed (summer 2005).

    Future plans for the catalogue of the Gibson-Massie Moore Collection

    It is intended that all catalogue entries for this collection on QCAT will be copied, and exported to a dedicated database which can offer a greater capacity to search and sort. The features we would like to build into this database include:

    -  a free-text search facility
    -  a browsing facility on the imprint field

    Models for future plans regarding searching and sorting facilities may be found at the following websites:

    -  RASCAL (Research and Special Collections Available Locally):

    -  Act of Union Virtual Library:
    -  “American Journeys”:

    A Case Study for Future Developments: A Selection of Irish Melodies with Symphonies and Accompaniments

    In the autumn of 2004, the MA in Music cohort were set to work on the uncatalogued Moore material, which comprised circa 150 copies of different editions, issues, and states of a ten-volume compilation of A Selection of Irish Melodies, with Symphonies and Accompaniments. Each student was assigned a volume number, and was expected to create descriptive catalogue entries for some of the volumes. These entries (and any which were not catalogued by the MA students) are currently being confirmed and entered into QCAT by a trained cataloguer (Bev Lawley), standardised as MARC records. Credit for providing detailed catalogue entries belongs to:

    Vol. 1       Bev Lawley
    Vol. 2       Claire Evans
    Vol. 3       Bev Lawley
    Vol. 4       Diane Atkinson      
    Vol. 5       Orla Molony
    Vol. 6       Seth Pratt
    Vol. 7       Elise Crean
    Vol. 8       Georgina Mulligan
    Vol. 9       Ian Mills
    Vol. 10     Liam Gorry

    Although all the copies of these volumes will eventually feature in QCAT, only a selection of the confirmed catalogue entries has been incorporated into the table, below. As a bibliographical exercise, the students were required to ‘match’ volumes within the Gibson-Massie Collection with each other, and also to determine matches worldwide through a consultation of various printed and online resources. Selected case studies (Volume 2 by Claire Evans and  Volume 7 by Elise Crean) are available for consultation. This exercise has provided valuable information about the publishing history of this particular edition of the Irish Melodies, while also confirming the central role of the Gibson-Massie Collection at Queen’s for Moore scholars.

    An Indexed Table of
    the title papers from A Selection of Irish Melodies with Symphonies and Accompaniments

    A selection of catalogue entries from the student project has been entered into a table, for which the following indices have been provided:

    City of Publication
    Engravers and Designers
    Printers and Publishers
    Publisher Number

    As the volumes are presented in order, an index on the title or uniform title has not been included. The author of all the texts is Thomas Moore, and the composer/arranger of the music for all the selected material in this table is John Stevenson, so no creator/author index is needed here. Users may note that some indices (“Engravers and Designers”, “Printers and Publishers”, and “Owners”) will include names which are not evident in the title-imprint column of the table. The information in this column has been taken from the title-pages themselves: the students also catalogued imprint information found on the board covers and within the individual volumes. For reasons of space, this part of their cataloguing project has not been represented in the table, but the names have been entered into the indices. For examples of fuller cataloguing entries, see the case studies for Volume 2 and Volume 7.

    Any dedicated database to this collection would provide browse and sort facilities on particular titles, as well as enabling more broadly defined searches. Full imprint information would also be made available.

    Moore in the Digital Image Gallery at Queen’s

    Selected images from A Selection of Irish Melodies with Symphonies and Accompaniments are available at the Special Collections Digital Image Gallery   These are presented to web, rather than reproduction, standards. The DIG home page contains information about obtaining images of higher quality.

    Further Digitisation

    It is intended that further materials from the Moore Collection will be digitised (to reproduction standard) and described, to recommended international standards, in order to facilitate indexed searching.

    A Digital Copy of Cash, Corn and Catholics

    In the spring of 2003, the CDDA at QUB digitised a few pages from a rare edition of Cash, Corn and Catholics.  This will be added to the Queen's Digital Image Gallery in due course.

    Moore Readers’ Survey

    Researchers with a particular interest in Thomas Moore may wish to complete our readers’ survey. Your comments will be used to help us design further electronic resources to support this collection.

    The text for these web pages was written by Dr Sarah McCleave (School of Music and CECS) on 10 May 2005. The table and indices were prepared by Dr Fiona Clark (LLA and CECS), from the work of Bev Lawley (School of Music). All of these web pages were prepared by Fiona Clark.

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