Digital Resources

Research and Special Collections Available Locally

An Irish Studies Directory

RASCAL is an electronic gateway to research resources relating to Ireland. The site can be used to search or browse information about a wide range of research and special collections held in libraries, museums and archives in Ireland and abroad.

The Directory consists of summary descriptions of collections available to researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences recording details of content, location, format, and access. Links to institutional catalogues and other digital resources are provided where available.

This resource is maintained by Queen’s University Belfast with records contributed and updated by participating institutions on the island of Ireland and partners in the United States. We aim to provide access to hidden collections as well as the more well-known and familiar for researchers and the general public. RASCAL is a free online resource. There are no fees associated with participation and contributing collection level details about your Ireland related collections.

Contact for more information. 

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Digital Special Collections & Archives

Manuscripts & Rare Books Online

Digital Special Collections & Archives provides access to selected series from various manuscript and discrete book collections in Special Collections & Archives. Collections include rare music manuscripts, medieval fragments and selections from our Chinese and Jewish collections. 

The digitisation programme is ongoing and new material will be added as it becomes available. Collection level descriptions for many of our collections may be found on RASCAL and detailed guides to manuscript collections are available on our web pages.  

Visitors are welcome to the Special Collections Reading Room which is located on Floor 1 of the McClay Library.

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Special Collections Blog

News, Exhibitions and Treasures in Special Collections

The Special Collections Blog brings you news of developments, exhibitions and events in Special Collections. It also highlights treasures from our collections.

Online Exhibitions

Exhibitions Featuring Manuscripts & Rare Books

Our exhibitions web page features a number of online exhibitions curated by Special Collections staff and Queen's academics. Topics include Thomas Moore, Children's literature, Somerville & Ross and Sir Robert Hart. 

The creation of exhibitions to accompany our images is an ongoing process and new exhibits will be added regularly. 

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Subject Guides

Highlighting Key Subject Strengths in Special Collections

Special Collections & Archives hold a large number of subject areas including Ulster, Ireland, History, Politics, Economics, Theology, Philosophy, Literature and Language. Our subject guides highlight key subject strengths within our collections and give an overview of the resources within that subject area. 

We have currently developed three subject guides: China, Music, and Science & Medicine. More are under development.  

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JStor Ireland Collection

Irish Studies Journals and Monographs

Developed in cooperation with Queen's University Belfast, the Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of materials from and about Ireland. When complete, it will contain a minimum of 75 journals, including journals with moving walls between 1 and 5 years and ceased journals from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Over 200 monographs and 2,500 manuscript pages will also be included.

The collection includes titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. The content is international in scope, while also providing a rich focus on Ireland. The Ireland Collection was created with funding from the JISC Digitisation Programme.

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North China Herald Online

Historic Chinese Newspaper

The North China Herald is the prime printed source for the history of the foreign presence in China from around 1850 to 1940s. No other newspaper existed over such an extended period, and covers it in such incredible depth and variety. 

The fully text-searchable North China Herald Online will be one of the primary resources on a period which continues to shape much of China’s world and worldview. 

The North China Herald compliments the important China collections held in Special Collections, namely the Sir Robert Hart Collection and the Dr. Stnaley Fowler Wright Collection. Detailed listings for these collections can be found on our Manuscripts web page

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