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MacDouall Collection

Collection Level Description

Collection of general literature, Sanskrit and comparative philology from the personal library of Charles MacDouall (1818-1883), first Professor of Latin at Queen's College, Belfast (1849-50) and second Professor of Greek (1850-78). The collection includes material relating to Classical, Eastern and Middle Eastern languages, and comparative philology, principally from the first half of the 19th century. The collection also includes examples of traditional folk tales and ballads from a variety of countries, and numerous dictionaries, primers and other general works.


The MacDouall Collection is significant for reflecting the research interests of a reputable 19th century academic. Its strengths focus primarily on philology, languages and general literature.

Physical characteristics

Approx. 1200 items consisting mainly of monographs, articles and journals etc.

Description or Catalogue

Details of the MacDouall Collection can be found on the QUB on-line catalogue (QCAT) within the Special Collections sub-division (prefix MacD/) and is accessible on ; Queen's University Belfast, The Library Shelf Catallogue, Vol. IX, Section B (Typescript ledger shelflist: Refs B7, B9, B16-18 )

Collection Dates

Coverage: 1533-1882

Additional Details


History, Literature

Geographic Coverage

Asia, Europe


Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hindustani, Irish, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Sanskrit, Swedish, Urdu, Welsh

Material Types

Books - including pamphlets

Custodial Information


Accrual Policy: Closed

Accrual Method: Donation

Accrual Periodicity: Closed




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).



Queen's University Belfast