Below is a list of our Manuscript holdings. Where available, links to further information and detailed inventories are provided.
The Manuscript holdings include material dating from the twelfth century on, with a particular bias towards the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Papers relating to politics, music and language in eighteenth century Ireland contrast with politics, culture and business in nineteenth and early twentieth century China. The personal and literary papers of writers such as Somerville & Ross and Helen Waddell, and the notes and papers of academics Thomas Andrews, James Thomson, R.M. Henry and Charles MacDouall are also included.
Access to manuscript material must be arranged in advance (at least one working day) and is restricted in the evenings and weekends. Please consult the listings below and contact us. If you are a non QUB card holder you must also register to visit the McClay Library.
A - F
Allingham Manuscripts (MS 1/125)
Belfast Creative Writing Group Manuscripts (MS 1/204)
Burdett Correspondence (MS 46)
Campbell Collection (MS 36)
Cuala Press Card Collection (MS 64)
Forster Correspondence (MS 44/1/22)
Fownes Tighe Manuscripts (MS 29)
G - N
German East-Asia Squadron Album (MS 89)
Gibson-Massie Collection (MS 37)
R.M. Henry Collection (MS 10 & MS 27)
Ireland in the Early 1900s (MS 67)
Kyllmann Correspondence (MS 18/19)
McNeill Papers (MS 39)
Medieval MSS on Microfilm (MS 59)
Miscellaneous Manuscripts (MS 1)
NI Advisory Commission (MS 30)
O - Y
O'Shaughnessy Manuscripts (MS 8)
Royal Commission on the Constitution, Working Papers (MS 31)
Savage-Armstrong Collection (MS 32)
Simms Collection (MS 35)
Somerville & Ross Manuscripts (MS 17)
Young (MS9) [transferred to PRONI]
Summaries and Links to Listings
Allen Collection (MS 23) - Listing
Robert Allen (1904-1968) was a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and a noted historian of the denomination. The collection contains some of his working papers, especially related to his 'The Presbyterian College Belfast 1853-1953', and some of his correspondence. A significant proportion of the material is from the Revd William Thomas Latimer (1842-1919) another Presbyterian minister and historian of the church. The Latimer material includes volumes of newspaper cuttings, extracts from original church records, and a idiosyncratic continuation of his 'A history of the Irish Presbyterians' (1893; 1902). The archive also contains material from the Revd Aston Robinson, Latimer’s son-in-law and another historian of Presbyterianism in Ireland.
Allingham Manuscripts (MS 1/125) - Collection Level Description
Collection of 44 original manuscript letters from the Irish poet, William Allingham (1824-89), to Henry Septimus Sutton (1825-1901). An important collection of letters from one poet to another, the letters provide a unique insight and commentary on the emergence of Allingham as a published author from 1848 to 1855 (one additional letter from 1862 is also to be found).
Andrews Manuscripts (MS 2) - Listing
This collection consists of a selection of scientific papers and correspondence by and addressed to Chemist and Physicist, Thomas Andrews (1813-85), chiefly written in his own hand or copied by his daughters, Elizabeth Andrews and Mary K. Andrews, and forming part of the documents used in the preparation of 'The Scientific Papers of the Late Thomas Andrews. With a Memoir by P.G. Tait and A. Crum Brown' (London, 1889).
Bartley Collection (MS 42) - Listing
A collection of 155 event programmes (mostly theatrical) dating from 1924 to 1939, the majority are for Belfast theatrical productions between 1928 and 1932. The bulk of this collection was gifted to Queen's University Library by James Orr Bartley in 1933; some material appears to have been added at a later date. The listing gives the date of the first performance as printed on the programme, if this is not available then the date noted on the item is given; the producer, production or acting company is noted in each case after the title and author. In as far as possible, this listing follows Bartley's original and groups the material by theatre or theatre company.
Belfast Creative Writing Group Manuscripts (MS 1/204) - Listing
Collection of typescripts in a folder marked "Complete file: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6". A note on the folder states "Gift of Mr. Hobsbaum, creator of C.W.G.). Philip Hobsbaum (1932-2005) was a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Queen's University Belfast from 1962 to 1966. During that period he established the Belfast Creative Writing Group, or "The Group". Members included James Simmons, Stewart Parker, Bernard McClaverty, Michael Longley and Seamus Heaney. The folder contains 67 discrete items, all but one are typescripts by single authors.
Branagh Collection (MS 41) - Listing
The Branagh Collection originated in a substantial bequest to Queen's University from Sir Kenneth Branagh in 2000. The original bequests have been supplemented by donations from other sources, including commercial bodies (such as Naxos), charitable organizations (such as the Ulster Association of Youth Drama) and individuals (such as Mark Thornton Burnett, Sarah Hatchuel and Jude Tessel).
Brett Collection (MS 3) - Listing
Small collection of miscellaneous papers and documents deposited by the Belfast solicitor, Sir Charles Brett (1839-1926). The collection consists of a variety of material, mainly of antiquarian interest, including books, extracts, manuscripts, and other documents relating principally to early English civil and ecclesiastical law, land and/or property in Yorkshire, c 1220-c 1600, and Wakefield, c 1763-1824, and the observations of the Rev T.J. Hussey on English birds, c 1828. The collection is also notable for a series of correspondence between Hussey and his daughter, Charlotte, during a stay in Aleppo, Syria from 1779-80 and an unexecuted grant of tithes, c 1145-53 from the Archbishop of Mainz. Digital Special Collections & Archives provides online access to the correspondence between the Rev. T.J. Hussey and his daughter Charlotte (MS 3/2-48A). Book: The First Protestants in the Arab World: The contribution to Christian mission of the English Aleppo chaplains 1597 - 1782, Andrew Lake.
Bullock Manuscripts (MS 24) - Listing
Papers of the Irish writer, Shan Fadh Bullock (1865-1935). The collection consists of holograph and typescript manuscripts of both published and unpublished works by Bullock featuring examples of his poetry, fictional writing and dramatic works. The collection also includes items of personal interest to Bullock including a small selection of letters to his daughter Nora Elson (nee Bullock), family photographs, a collection of obituaries and a brief history of the Bullock family by John W. Beck. An undated letter from George Russell (AE) commenting on Bullock's 'Mors et Vita' is also to be found. Russell supplied the foreward to this anthology of poetry.
Bunting Collection (MS 4) - Listing
Major collection of Irish musical manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence etc concerning the work of the Irish Music Collector and Musician, Edward Bunting (1773-1843) arising out of the Belfast Harpers Festival of 1792 and published in ‘A General Collection of Ancient Irish Music’ in 1796 (revised 1809 and 1840). It includes three editions of Bunting’s A General Collection of Ancient Irish Music (published in 1796, revised in 1809 and 1840) and the musical manuscripts of Irish traditional music which he compiled during the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792 and his subsequent travels around Ireland. The collection also contains Patrick Lynch’s notebooks of Roman and Gaelic lyrics which he compiled for Bunting during a tour in 1802, and a folio of letters to Bunting. Digital Special Collection & Archives provides online access to a selection of manuscripts from the Bunting Collection.
Online Exhibition: The Edward Bunting Collection
Catalogue: Eighteenth-Century Ireland, Thomas Moore, Thomas Percy and Edward Bunting
Burdett Correspondence (MS 46) - Listing
Sixteen autograph letters written by novelist Forrest Reid (1875-1947) to biographer and critic Osbert Burdett (1885-1936). Letters date from 1907 to 1931. Burdett was a contemporary of Reid's at Cambridge. The topics are very much literary, rather than personal. The other side of this correspondence is contained in the Reid Collection also held in Special Collections (see: MS44/1/23).
Campbell Collection (MS36)
Carnduff Collection (MS 21) - Listing
Personal, literary and collected papers of and/or relating to Thomas Carnduff (1886-1956), the Belfast essayist, playwright and poet. An important figure in cultural circles during the early 20th century, Thomas Carnduff, the so-called 'Shipyard Poet,' was a profilic writer and acute observer of Belfast life. The Thomas Carnduff Collection consists of draft and annotated manuscripts of Carnduff'sprincipal works including the plays, 'Castlereagh' (1935), 'Give Losers Leave To Talk: A Belfast Shipyard Play in Three Acts' and his seminal piece, 'Workers,' which was first performed by the Abbey Theatre in 1932. Other manuscripts featured consist of an incomplete typescript draft of Carnduff's autobiography, various published and unpublished poetry including the anthologies, 'Songs from the Shipyards and Other Poems' (l924) and 'Songs of an Out-of-Work' (l932), and other short stories and articles. Of the personal papers included in the collection can be found correspondence from his second wife, Mary Carnduff, c 1940-44, and various literary associates and friends, including the authors, John Masefield and Richard Hayward, a brief series of collected papers of the Young Ulster Society (co-founded by Carnduff in 1936), and material relating to Carnduff's involvement in the Independent Orange Order movement and the Young Ulster Volunteers. The collection also consists of theatrical ephemera relating to the production of Carnduff's work at the Empire Theatre, Belfast and Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in addition to various personal photographs, sketches, certificates and books etc. The Carnduff Collection also includes correspondence and articles relating to Noel Carnduff's search for his father's work and various other published works about Carnduff, his life and writing.
Charles Collection (MS 5) - Listing
Small collection of papers and photographic material presented to the University Library by the Biblical Scholar, R.H. Charles, Archdeacon of Westminster (1855-1931) consisting mainly of photographs (positive and negative) of original Aramaic, Greek and Ethiopic biblical manuscripts dating from the 10th to the 15th centuries. These items were largely used by Charles in the preparation of his scholarly texts on 'The Ethiopic Version of the Book of Enoch' (1906) and 'The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs' (1908). Annotated editions of these publications are included in the collection as is his 'Lectures on the Apocalypse' from 1922.
Comintern Collection (Irish Labour Movement) (MS 57) - Listing
This collection comprises copies of files held in the Russian Archive for Social and Political History (RGASPI), Moscow. The files pertain to the Irish labour movement and the history of Communism in Ireland, comprising documents from the departments and standing committees of the Executive Committee Communist International (ECCI) including speeches, reports, letters, agendas, fliers, handwritten notes, lists, telegrams, minutes and posters. The papers provide considerable insight into the personalities, organisation and policy development of Irish Communism during the 1920s/1930s. Included in the collection are ten microfilms (representing approximately 4,000 pages) detailing contacts between the Communist International and Irish groups between 1919 and 1943. All materials in the collection were selected and the catalogue prepared by two academics, Dr Emmet O'Connor (Ulster University, Northern Ireland) and Dr Finbarr McLoughlin (University of Vienna, Austria) and copied in 1995. The microfilms were deposited with Special Collections and Archives in December 2011 and the paper copies were deposited in July 2012.
Please note the microfilm reels are now available to consult in our Virtual Reading Room. An Application to Consult Form must initially be filled out and forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corr Collection (MS 65) - Listing
This collection comprises documents and artefacts from the Corr family archive. The collection pertains mainly to Elizabeth Corr. Biographical information for Elizabeth Corr is available on the website A Century of Women and in The Women of Belfast: Cumann na mBan, Easter Week and After by Margaret Ward. In the period around 1916 the Corr family, from Belfast’s Ormeau Road, played significant roles in seminal events of the time, including the Easter Rising, the Irish revolutionary period post 1916, and the First World War. Elizabeth and Nell were members of Cumann na mBan and Henry a member of the Irish Volunteers.Their brothers George and Charles fought in the First World War for the Australian and Canadian armies.The items in this collection featured in The Corr Family – Witnessing History exhibition which ran at the Linen Hall Library in April 2016, and at the Ulster Museum in July and August 2016. The collection was donated to Special Collections & Archives, Queen’s University Belfast in 2018 by James G. May. The donor has retained some items that featured in the 2016 exhibition.
Cuala Press Card Collection (MS 64) - Listing
A collection of cards representing some of the rarest of Cuala Press productions from the 1910s to the 1950s. Printed in outline from zinc blocks, many cards are individually hand-coloured by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats, or by other Cuala staff under her supervision; many of the cards have the quality of original watercolours. Commissioned from leading contemporary Irish artists, many of them women, the designs show typical west of Ireland landscapes or scenes from the Christmas story. All are printed on Irish paper specially made for the Cuala Press at the Saggart mill near Dublin. Although large numbers of these cards were issued, they are by their very nature ephemeral and very few examples remain, especially in this condition. A collection of the finest work of this distinguished hand-press, run by the Yeats sisters with the help of their brothers Jack and W.B.
Purchased from De Búrca Rare Books in January 2018.
Desht Collection (MS 69) - Listing
Martin Desht is a documentary photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Specialising in post-industrial urban landscapes his work has been exhibited at Harvard University, NYU, and Dartmouth College among other places. In 2006 he was the photographer in residence at Queen’s University where he conducted a teaching photography project which documented the city of Belfast from a social/post-industrial point of view. This grew into an exhibition: “A Certain Peace: Acceptance and Defiance in Northern Ireland.” This collection, donated to us by Mr Desht, contains the original negatives from this project as well as prints and other items such as the artist’s personal notebook from the period.
Ferguson Collection (MS 12) - Listing
Collection of research materials collected by Godfrey W. Ferguson (d. c 1939/40) of Belfast, President of the Belfast Literary Society (1922-23, 1934-35), concerning Anne Isabella Milbanke, Lady Byron (1792-1860), wife of the Romantic Poet, Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), and, in particular, the controversy surrounding the breakdown of their marriage in 1816 and her descendants' attempts to defend her memory in later years. The collection consists of some 140 typescript copies of correspondence between Lady Byron's god-son, Hugh M. de Fellenberg Montgomery of Blessingbourne, Co. Tyrone (1844-1924), and members of the Milbanke family, 1921-24, typescript copies of letters, journal extracts and verse by Lady Byron, 1814-57, and newspaper cuttings and extracts relating to Lord Byron, 1920-39. The collection also contains copies of papers delivered by Ferguson to the Belfast Literary Society on the essayist and poet, Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) in 1910 and the Byron controversy in November 1934 and papers relating to the deposit of a small collection of Montgomery-Byron correspondence, 1814-18, at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in 1934.
Fielden Manuscripts (MS 25) - Listing
Manuscripts of mainly unpublished works by novelist and playwright Olga Fielden (1903-1973). Her published works includes the novels Island Story (Jonathan Cape, 1936), and the play Three to Go (H.R. Carter, 1950), the latter was produced by The Abbey Theatre, Dublin in November 1940.
Olga Fielden was a student at Queen’s University Belfast. She moved to London for a period after her graduation but returned to Northern Ireland where she wrote plays for, and performed with, the amateur dramatics society, the Northern Drama League.
Forster Correspondence (MS 44/1/22) - Listing
Correspondence from the novelist Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970 to Forrest Reid, covering a period of thirty-four and a half years (31st January 1912 – 18th August 1946). This collection includes 217 letters and cards and is one of the most significant parts of the Forrest Reid papers (MS 44). A research grant from the British Academy has allowed some detailed listing to be completed on this material (MS44/1/22).
Article: The correspondence of E.M. Forster and Forrest Reid: Content and Implications of a New Literary Archive, by Brian G Caraher and Emma Hegarty, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Catalogue: Forrest Reid & Stephen Gilbert Exhibition - 2008
Fownes/ Tighe Collection (MS 29) - Listing
This small collection consists of one rent book for properties owned by the Fownes family between the years 1731 to 1747, and nine account books for the Woodstock Estate in Co. Kilkenny which date from between 1790 to 1810. Sir William Fownes, 2nd Baronet had inherited a large estate near Inistioge in Kilkenny from his maternal grandfather in 1725, while still a minor. He subsequently had Woodstock House constructed in the mid-1740s. By 1790 ownership of the estate passed into the Tighe family when Fownes' only child, Sarah, married William Tighe of Rossana. Sara would later transfer ownership of the estate to her son William Tighe sometime in the 1790s.
Freemasonry Collection (MS 26) - Listing
Previously known as the Gibson-Massie Collection. Material collected by the Scottish collection Andrew Gibson (1841-1931), who lived the majority of his life in Belfast. Gibson was interested in Irish Freemasonry and the collection is composed mainly of handwritten notices (i.e. copies) of newspaper advertisements, calling on Masonic lodges to assemble for a variety of activities. There are over four hundred of these hand-written notices, beginning in 1759 and ending in 1799. They are copied from the Belfast NewsLetter, the Belfast Mercury, the Belfast Evening Post and the Northern Star.
German East-Asia Squadron Album (MS 89) - Listing
A single album with eighty-six original gelatin silver photographs. The photographs are apparently taken by a naval officer while serving on S.M.S. "Scharnhorst", the flagship of the German East-Asia Squadron in 1909-1914. Dated ca. 1912-1913. Photographs include the following views: Tsingtao, Hong Kong, Amoy/ Xiamen, German colonies in Samoa and New Guinea, scenes from the second Chinese Revolution.
Warning: A number of photographs contain scenes which may cause distress.
Gibson-Massie Collection (MS 37) - Listing
A collection of printed material which belonged to the book collector and bibliographer Andrew Gibson (1841-1931). The collection contains many editions of the works of Allan Ramsay (1684-1758). These are detailed in Gibson's New Light on Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh: Willian Brown, 1927). There are also around 200 chap books, mostly from Scotland and Ireland, with some early nineteenth century Irish examples. Remnants of Gibson's Burns collection are also included along with other monograph titles (mostly Scottish or relating to Scotland).
Andrew Gibson also collected a large amount of titles by Thomas Moore. These are fully catalogued and can be found at the prefix Moore/ in Special Collections.
Both collections were sold to Queen's University Library in 1960 by P. D. Massie.
Gilbert Collection (MS 45) - Listing
The papers of novelist Stephen Gilbert (1912-2010). Includes draft autograph and typescript manuscripts of novels and short stories, proof copies and quires, correspondence, notes, synopses, draft speeches, draft poems, juvenilia, school reports, photographs, scrapbooks, and postcards. The correspondence includes letters written by authors such as a Walter de la Mare, George Buchanan, Forrest Reid and E.M. Forster.
The purchase of this collection was due to the generous funding of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the following supporting funders: The Pilgrim Trust, Esme Mitchell Trust, The John Jefferson Smurfit Monegasque Foundation, Dr. Michael and Mrs Ruth West and Sir Donnell Deeny.
Catalogue: Forrest Reid and Stephen Gilbert exhibition - 2008
Green Manuscripts (MS 40) - Listing
A small collection of articles, talks and papers written by economic historian Professor Edward Rodney Richey Green (1920-1981). Green was a senior lecturer in History at Manchester University from 1954-1970 and he held the post of Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University Belfast from 1970-1981. Also included are papers delivered at a series of public lectures (Ulstermen in American Business) organised by the Ulster-Scot Historical Foundation.
J.N. Hart Collection (MS 47) - Listing
A small collection of Forrest Reid related material donated to Special Collections in July 2001. John N. Hart (1881[?]-1963) was a lifelong friend of novelist Forrest Reid (1875-1947) (see correspondence MS44/1/55). The bulk of material in this collection dates from after Reid's death in 1947 and relates to the Forrest Reid Memorial exhibition in 1953 and Russell Burlingham's Forrest Reid: a portrait and study (London: Faber and Faber, 1953)
Hart Collection (MS 15) - Listing
Substantial collection of personal and official papers of Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911), Inspector General of the Imperial Customs, Peking, 1863-1908. The collection contains a range of interesting and insightful material relating to Hart’s official duties and experiences in Peking during his long career in charge of the Chinese Customs Service. Significant in this regard is the long series of 77 personal journals which Hart kept during this time. The collection also contains a significant series of correspondence amounting to some 7000 letters dating from 1899 to 1911. Digital Special Collections & Archives provides online access to a selection of images from the Hart Collection.
Harty Collection (MS 14) - Listing
Collection of holograph manuscripts of the composer and conductor, Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941) featuring full and part scores to a range of orchestral and choral pieces composed or arranged by Harty, c 1900-1939. Included in the collection are arrangements of Handel and Berlioz, whose performances of which Harty was most noted, and autograph manuscripts of approx. 48 original works including ‘Symphony in D (Irish)’ (1915), ‘The Children of Lir’ (c 1939), ‘In Ireland, A Fantasy for flute, harp and small orchestra’ and ‘Quartet in F for 2 violins, viola and ‘cello’ for which he won the Feis Ceoil prize in 1900. The collection also contains an incomplete autobiographical memoir, letters, telegrams, photographs and various typescript copies of lectures and articles by Harty on Berlioz and piano accompaniment, c 1926-c 1936. Five scrapbooks are also included, they contain cuttings from newspapers and periodicals, letters, photographs and autographs, compiled by his secretary and intimate friend Olive Baguley.
Borrowing Harty Performance Sets from Special Collections
Heaney Manuscripts (MS 20) - Listing
The manuscripts are primarily composed of materials relating to Seamus Heaney's translation of the Old English epic 'Beowulf', including the original manuscript drafts and subsequent typescript drafts that trace the revision process, as well as late drafts and correspondence detailing the publication process and illustrating Heaney's consultation with academics. The collection also contains a small assortment of other writings and correspondence, interspersed with the Beowulf translation materials. These include drafts of lectures and other prose by Heaney, usually translating Beowulf. Also included are drafts of other poems composed during the period, including a number which were not subsequently collected, and may never have been published.
R.M. Henry Collection (MS 10 & MS 27)
Collection of correspondence, working notes and papers of Robert Mitchell Henry (1873-1950), Professor of Latin at Queen’s University Belfast (1907-38) and later Professor of Humanities at the University of St. Andrews, Edinburgh (1939-47) and honorary chair of Classical Literature at Trinity College, Dublin (1947-50). Broad in its scope, the collection consists of a variety of material reflecting Henry’s wide range of academic, adminstrative and personal interests. Included are papers and notes on various classical Latin and Greek subjects, the American poet and journalist, Walt Whitman (1819-92), and the study of Irish History. There is also a series of letters, c 1855-1941, addressed to Henry from a variety of correspondents, but principally Sir Samuel Dill (1844-1924), Ramsey Kier and Denis O’Keefe, a set of 14 pocket diaries kept by Henry from 1910-45 and a group of in-letters and miscellaneous papers from the Registrar’s Office of Queen's University, 1877-79. The collection also consists of papers relating to Henry’s involvement with the Workers Educational Association, the Classical Association of Ireland and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Maps and plans of Queen’s, 1854-1945 are also to be found in the collection, as are a series of original drawings of maps and diagrams used in Moody and Beckett’s official history of the university (‘Queen's, Belfast 1845-1949: the history of a university,’ T.W. Moody and J.C. Beckett, 1959).
Listings MS 10 and MS 27 are being revised and amalgamated. Please email email@example.com if you wish to consult them.
Ireland in the Early 1900s (MS 67) - Listing
This is a collection of 104 original stereoscopic glass negative slides of Ireland from the early 1900s, c. 1900-1910. The photographs focus on the life of Irish people in country towns; its houses and architecture, history and historic monuments.
There is also an accompanying collection of 28 off-prints in a folder located with the collection. These were created in 2012 by the photographer Yvette Bessels for Linus Carr, a gallerist.
The negatives were purchased in the US before being bought by Kenny’s Bookshop and Art Galleries Ltd. They were acquired by Special Collections in October 2019.
Kennedy Collection (MS 50) - Listing
A small collection of facsimile items and photographs relating to President John F. Kennedy’s Presidential visit to Ireland in June 1963, five months before his assassination on 22nd November 1963.
The collection includes a poem transcribed on the reverse of an itinerary for a state visit to Italy in July 1963, a speech given before the Irish Parliament on 28th June 1963 and photographs of John F. Kennedy with well-wishers in County Wexford, Cork and Galway.
The facsimiles and photographs were deposited with Queen’s University, Belfast in 2009 by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston to be exhibited in support of a memorial lecture given by Dan Fenn, former Staff Assistant to President Kennedy, in the Great Hall on 2nd September 2009.
Kyllmann Correspondence (MS 18/19) - Listing
Collection of 133 MS and typescript letters from 34 correspondents to Otto Kyllmann, senior partner of Constable & Co., and friend of Helen Waddell, with typescript copies of 16 of his letters to various correspondents, and one note in hand; the whole collection spanning the period 1910-1958. Five group of miscellaneous papers relating to Charles Whibley, Henry Spencer Wilkinson, Walter Simons and Robert Gilbert Vansittart, with three Reuter News sheets.
This collection is listed and stored as part of the Waddell Collection (MS 18). A detailed calendar for this collection, compiled by M. Kelly, is available in the Special Collections Reading Room.
Lewis Correspondence (MS 56) - Listing
A collection of 11 letters from C.S. Lewis to Captain Bernard Acworth. In the series of letters, written between 1944 and 1960, Lewis explains, in response to Acworth’s views on the incompatibility of evolution and Christianity, his own views on the question of origins. The letters also contain references to some aspects of Lewis’s private life, including his marriage and visits to Donegal. See also Letter from C.S. Lewis to Anne Waller (MS 1/247). The letter contains an explanation of the "Narnia" series of children's novels.
MacAdam Manuscript (MS 1/153) - Collection Level Description
Extant manuscript for an English-Irish Dictionary of Ulster Irish compiled for and in association with the Belfast born industrialist and Gaelic Scholar, Robert Shipboy MacAdam (1808-95). The manuscript consists of some 23 folios arranged alphabetically and containing the completed results of MacAdam's attempts to compile an English-Irish Dictionary in collaboration with the native Irish speaker, Hugh MacDonnell of Co. Meath.
MacDouall Manuscripts (MS 6) - Listing
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.
McFadden Manuscripts (MS 22)
Papers of Roy McFadden (1921-1999) poet and literary figure. Consultation of a draft listing can be arranged by contacting Special Collections & Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org).
McLoughlin Collection (MS 60) - Finding Aid
Documents on Irish victims of Stalinist terror in the USSR, specifically Patrick Breslin, Brian Gould and Sean McAteer. The six boxes of documents were donated by Barry McLoughlin (University of Vienna). These papers formed the basis for his book Left to the Wolves: Irish Victims of Stalinist Terror (Dublin 2007). They include private family papers previously unknown to researchers. Dr. McLoughlin has prepared an index to the collection, a more detailed listing is in preparation.
McNeill Papers (MS 39)
Medieval Manuscripts on Microfilm (MS 59) - Finding Aid
The collection comprises of copies of 367 manuscripts (in full or part) held on c. 220 microfilms, the vast majority of which were donated to Special Collections at the conclusion of two large AHRC-funded research projects - Imagining History (2002-2005) and Geographies of Orthodoxy (2007-2010) - undertaken at the School of English at Queen's University Belfast. These projects investigated, respectively, the Middle English Prose Brut and the Anglophone pseudo-Bonaventuran tradition. As such, vernacular manuscripts relating to these traditions are a key strength of the collection.
Megaw Collection (MS 53) - Listing
A collection of publications and papers relating to, and donated by the Megaw family. The Megaw Reading Room in the Lynn Library was opened in 1952 and created through the generosity of the Megaw family. It was named after Judge Robert Megaw (1867-1947). The room was extended to commemorate Alice K. Megaw, Judge Megaw's daughter. Alice Megaw was appointed Assistant Librarian at Queen's in 1941, Sub-Librarian in 1950 and Deputy Librarian in 1959. She retired in 1961. The extension to the Megaw Reading Room opened in December 1996. Around this time the Megaw family deposited a number of publications and papers written by members of the family. The papers were held in the Megaw Reading Room until Special Collections moved to the McClay Library in July 2009.
Megaw Manuscripts (MS 28) - Listing
Papers, notebooks and clipping books of Arthur Stanley Megaw (1873-1961). In middle life Megaw gave up the law to pursue literary interests and is most famous as an anthologist publishing under the name of Arthur Stanley. Works include 'Bedside Book', 'Fireside Book', 'Bedside Shakespeare' and 'Bedside Bible'. Megaw was also prominent in the Belfast Literary Society for over 50 years and was Honorary Secretary for 30 years.
Miscellaneous Manuscripts (MS1) - Listing
A series of varied, unrelated manuscript collections. It runs from MS1/1 to MS1/267 and includes ancient Irish, medieval and modern material. This listing is under review with the intent to highlight more significant items. Items/ collections of particular interest include: A short description of the 'Letter from C.S. Lewis to Anne Waller' (MS1/247); Allingham Collection (MS 1/125), MacAdam Manuscript (MS 1/153); Pim Manuscripts (MS 74).
The following listings have been taken from the original and expanded upon:
Belfast Creative Writing Group Manuscripts (MS 1/204)
O'Rahilly Letters (MS 1/236) - Letters from George Russell (AE) to T.F. O'Rahilly
O'Rahilly Letters (MS 1/237) - Letters from D.J. O'Sullivan to O'Rahilly, 1926-28.
Nelson Manuscripts (MS 51) - Listing
The personal papers of John Havelock Nelson (1917-1996), bacteriologist, composer, arranger, conductor and promoter of opera. The Nelson Manuscripts contain many autograph manuscripts, scores, orchestral parts, music for radio plays, scripts and programmes, relating to his work with the BBC and beyond. Compositions include incidental music for radio plays, songs for choirs and arrangements of traditional Irish airs and well known classical pieces. The collection was donated by Havelock Nelson's son Graham Nelson in January 2010.
Newport Collection (MS 7) - Listing
Collection of letters and other papers relating to the public and private affairs of Sir John Newport (1756-1843), Irish Politician and Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, banker and landowner. The bulk of the collection consists of some 250 letters, c 1765-c 1862, addressed to, and received from, some of the leading political figures in Ireland of the time commenting on some of the prominent issues of the day. Included are letters from William Conyngham Plunkett, Earl Grey, Lord Duncannon, Daniel O’Connell, John V. Nugent, Thomas Spring Rice, Edward Stanley and Thomas Grenville discussing mainly Irish affairs, in particular highlighting the republican sentiments of the population and the disaffection felt throughout. References are also made to the general European situation and to British politics. Of the personal letters noted, two are from Newport’s nephew, Simon, writing from Eton and enclosing some examples of Latin verse with others from Newport’s mother, father and brother. Among the miscellaneous papers and memos are a list of books taken to London, a rental of the Bishop’s Hall Estate, household expenses etc. The collection also includes a series of extracts from the records of the English Exchequer copied by Frederick Devon, c 1836 and consisting of miscellaneous accounts from the reigns of Richard I, Edward I, Oliver Cromwell, and Charles II. A copy of the original auctioneer’s catalogue (Colbeck Radford & Company) of 1937, from which the collection was bought, is also to be found.
NI Advisory Commission [i. Charitable Trusts Law, ii. Public Libraries] (MS 30)
Nietsche Collection (MS 75) - Listing
This collection, purchased from Ross’s Auctioneers & Valuers in 2020, comprises notebooks, photographs, pamphlets and an ink stamp belonging to Paul Felix Franz Nietsche (1885 - 1950).
Nietsche was a Ukrainian artist and teacher who spent several years travelling across Europe and North America to paint and exhibit his work. He visited Ulster initially at the invitation of Dr Michael O’Brien, lecturer in Celtic Studies at Queen’s University, whom he had befriended in Berlin. After many more visits to Northern Ireland, Nietsche eventually settled down in Belfast in the late 1930s. After a brief spell of internment on the Isle of Man during the war as a result of his German parentage, he rented a studio on the Dublin Road where he continued to paint and exhibit his work until his death in 1950. Fluent in Russian, German, English and French, he was known to have befriended a large number of other artists, writers, actors, amongst others. His artwork consisted of mostly still life and portraits, and he published one poem in Rann: An Ulster Quarterly of Poetry.
O'Rahilly Collection (MS 11) - Listing
Collection of Irish manuscripts and printed books annotated by the distinguished Celtic Scholar, T.F. O’Rahilly (1883-1953). A relatively small assemblage of material, the books are extensively annotated by O'Rahilly and include a range of titles on Irish dialect, grammar and Irish Literature, dating from c 1849-1937. Among the authors featured are Brian Merriman (1749-1805), Joseph Henry Lloyd, Peter O'Leary (1839-1920), John O'Tuomy, Pierce Fitzgerald and John Clarach MacDonald. An annotated draft of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland is also to be found within the collection in addition to a manuscript inscription from Eamon DeValera thanking O'Rahilly for his assistance on it. The collection also includes a miscellaneous series of other papers and correspondence. Of the correspondence can be found 15 letters from D.J. O'Sullivan to O'Rahilly, 1926-28, regarding O'Sullivan's edition to the Bunting Collection of Irish Music (QUB MS/4) (MS1/237). Also included are letters from George Russell to O'Rahilly concerning state financial support for Gaelic scholarship (MS1/236). Other correspondents include M. O'Cathain, A. Martin Freeman, Paul Grosjean, James Hogan and Liam Price.
O'Regan Archive [Mixed Media] (MS 38)
O'Shaughnessy Manuscripts (MS 8) - Listing
Collection of literary manuscripts of the Victorian poet, Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1844-81) comprising chiefly of some 21 annotated notebooks of poems, prose and verse composed by him, c 1860-70, and appearing in his published works, ‘An Epic of Women’ (1870), ‘Lays of France’ (1872), ‘Music and Moonlight’ (1874) and ‘Songs of a Worker’ (1881). Other notable items contained in the collection include notes and book lists prepared by O’Shaughnessy on the work of others, a volume entitled ‘Trifles in Verse’ (1825) containing copies of 40 short pieces by various authors, and a small notebook of views of the Isle of Wight (N.D.). Some papers relating to the actual acquisition of the manuscripts in 1916 are also to be found.
Percy Manuscripts (MS 77) - Listing
A small collection of manuscripts which is part of the almost intact 18th century library of the author and antiquarian, Thomas Percy (1729-1811), Bishop of Dromore, Co. Down. The collection also consists of numerous books and pamphlets, all of which can be accessed through our library catalogue. A collection level description of the book, pamphlet and manuscript collection is also available.
Pim Manuscripts (MS 74) - Listing
Papers of the Belfast born author and poet, Herbert Moore Pim (1883-1950). A relatively small batch of materials, this collection consists of literary manuscripts concerning published and unpublished works by Pim, including typewritten drafts of the novel, The Pessimist, 1906-10 (published under the pseudonym, A. Newman in 1914), Poems for Children (1940), the plays, Julian the Apostate and The Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus, and a series of studies entitled, The Beauty of Life which were published in various periodicals, c1936. Documents are primarily in typescript with handwritten corrections and annotations. There are also copies of several published titles by Pim, with handwritten annotations by the author. The collection includes a series of six letters to the author from Lord Alfred Douglas (signed ‘Bosie’), dated 1922 and 1924-25.
Most items were originally listed as part of our Miscellaneous Manuscripts (MS 1/39-42, 45-49).
Piry Collection (MS 19) - Listing
Collection of private papers of Théophile Piry (fl. 1880-1915), Commissioner of Customs and first Postmaster General of the Imperial Postal Service, China, 1911-1915. This collection contains a range of material bearing on Piry’s later career in the Chinese administration including drafts, notes, copies of correspondence, memoranda, reports etc relating to customs affairs in Lappa and Macao and, later, the establishment of the modern postal service in China from 1911 until Piry’s retirement in 1915. Of particular interest are the various papers concerning the development of the Imperial Postal Service, most notably in relation to arrangements with foreign counties (the so-called ‘Guest Post’ system) and the formalisation of relations with these countries both individually and through membership of the Universal Postal Union. Included can be found copies of postal agreements between China and France (1900), Germany (1905), Russia (1909) and Japan (1910), correspondence relating to China’s entry to the Universal Postal Union, 1913-1915 and two historical notes and analyses concerning the development of the postal service (U-Tchau) in China.
Reid Collection (MS 44) - Listing
In September 2007 Special Collections acquired the papers of Belfast novelist and critic Forrest Reid (1875-1947). The purchase of this collection was due to the generous funding of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the following supporting funders: The Pilgrim Trust, Esme Mitchell Trust, The John Jefferson Smurfit Monegasque Foundation, Dr. Michael and Mrs Ruth West and Sir Donnell Deeny.
One of the most significant parts of the Forrest Reid papers is his correspondence with the novelist Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970). The correspondence covers a period of thirty-four and a half years (31st January 1912 – 18th August 1946) and includes 217 letters and cards from E.M. Forster.
Article: The Correspondence of E. M. Forster and Forrest Reid: Content and Implications of a New Literary Archive, by Brian G Caraher and Emma Hegarty, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.
MS 44/1/22 - Listing: A research grant from the British Academy has allowed some detailed listing to be completed on this material.
Catalogue: Forrest Reid & Stephen Gilbert Exhibition - 2008.
Rosenfield Collection (MS 43) - Listing
Clippings, other writings and miscellaneous material relating to Belfast journalists/critics (and sisters) Judith and Ray [Rachel] Rosenfield.
Royal Commission on the Constitution, Working Papers (MS 31) - Listing
The Royal Commission on the Constitution working papers were donated to the University by
Professor Francis Newark in 1974 and are now available for consultation under the terms of the Open Government License. The Royal Commission on the Constitution was set-up to review the case for regional/devolved government in the UK in 1969. Professor Newark, part of the law faculty at Queen’s, was appointed to the Commission as the sole representative from Northern Ireland. The collection consists of the typed minutes of the public sessions held in Belfast in which witnesses were invited to give evidence to the
Commission, and the typed minutes of all of the Commission’s meetings held behind closed doors, dating from between 1969 to 1973.
Savage-Armstrong Collection (MS 32)
Large unlisted collection of papers and correspondence that belonged to the poet George Francis Savage-Armstrong (1845-1906).
Scarman Tribunal 1969 (MS 33) - Listing
Exhibits, submissions and evidence relating to the Scarman Tribunal into violence and civil disturbances in Northern Ireland in 1968. The material is arranged into Exhibits, Evidence and Submissions.
Warning: A number of the exhibit folders contain images which may cause distress.
Shaw Collection (MS 34) - Listing
Papers of the Ulster-born academic, Judge James Johnston Shaw (1845-1910). The collection includes correspondence, notes, lectures and other papers primarily concerning Shaw's early career as Professor of Metaphysics and Ethics at Magee College Derry (1869-78) and as Professor of Political Economy at Trinity College Dublin (1876-91), and later, as Chairman of the "Belfast University Commissioners" (1908-10), who were charged with framing the governing statutes of the new Queen's University of Belfast. The collection also contains series of letters from friends and colleagues providing an interesting insight into Shaw's personal life and opinions, and those of his correspondents. Principal correspondents include Sir Samuel Dill (1844-1924), the Rev. S.L. Harrison of Castlebellingham (fl. 1868-1910), and John Park of Belfast (1838-1913), all former students of Queen's College Belfast, and the Rev. James Rowan of Kirkcubbin (fl. 1859-1877), a former mentor, and his brother John Shaw (fl. 1900-1910). An important and respected figure in both Irish educational and legal circles at the time, the collection also includes a number of draft memoirs and addresses on Shaw by some of his contemporaries delivered after his death in 1910.
Simms Collection (MS 35)
Smith Collection (MS 54) - Listing
A collection of legal and business documents relating to the Smith family of Alleghany County, Virginia dating from 1845 to 1877. They deal with the concerns of Henry Smith (died c. 1852) and his wife Jennet Smith who died in 1867. Jennet Smith is referred to variously as Janet, Jenet, Jannet, or even Jennetta in the documents. The estate passed from Jennet Smith to her nephew William Scott.
The documents include account statements, inventories and some letters. Most interesting is the insight the documents give to the Smith family's involvement in the slave trade. The Smith's appear to have hired slaves out and the collection includes documents relating to this activity. In her will Jennet Smith bequeaths a "negro" called George to her nephew.
Somerville & Ross Manuscripts (MS 17) - Listing
Significant collection of personal and literary papers of Edith Somerville (1858-1949) and Violet Martin (1862-1915) alias “Somerville and Ross,” one of Ireland's most celebrated literary partnerships. An important and unique collection reflecting the lives, interests and work of the two authors, the Somerville & Ross Papers consist largely of diaries, correspondence, working papers, and draft manuscripts relating to the authors’ literary activities, personal interests and affairs. Catalogue: Somerville & Ross Exhibition - 2006
Tedford Manuscripts (MS 92) - Listing
A small collection of the personal accounts of Barney Tedford, mainly of late 19th century Ireland (Connemara and greater Belfast), also Canada. The older document (Connemara) describes a journey to Connemara to build a shooting lodge for a fish and game club in the 1850s, also the work that was involved in its construction and the people met. More recent comments by the author on his life and acquaintances in Canada are included. The second document (June. Old Home Stead.) describes the life and times of Barney Tedford in mid-19th century greater Belfast. Reference to his life in Canada in later life is again made.
Barney Tedford was an apprentice to John Lowry of John Lowry & Sons.
This collection was donated to Special Collections, Queen’s University Belfast in March 2023 by Patrick Smyth, a collateral descendent of John Lowry, to whom both documents are addressed.
Thomson Collection (MS 13) - Listing
Collection of scientific papers and notebooks, memoranda, lectures, correspondence etc of James Thomson (1822-1892), Professor of Engineering at Queen’s College, Belfast, 1857-1873. Various topics are highlighted in the collection reflecting Professor Thomson’s wide range of research interests. These include such areas as fluid motion, the formation of river bars, ventilation, atmospheric circulation, the atmosphere of Jupiter and the freezing and melting of solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter, which he investigated with his Belfast colleague, Thomas Andrews (1813-85). The collection also includes many manuscript drafts of lectures and scientific papers, printed offprints of papers by Thomson and other contemporaries, newspapers and journals, pamphlets and patent specifications. There are also a large quantity of letters to and from Thomson with about 50 correspondents. These include his brother, the eminent physicist, Lord Kelvin, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, P.G. Tait, J.J. Murphy, Thomas Andrews, Galbraith, G.G. Stokes, Sir R. Ball, W.J.M. Rankine and others. Most of this material is of a technical nature. The collection also contains some manuscripts belonging to Thomson’s father, James Thomson, senior (1786-1849).
Waddell Collection (MS18) - Listing
Papers of the Ulster writer and scholar, Helen Waddell (1889-1965). The collection consists of notes, translations, holograph and typescript manuscripts of published and unpublished works by Waddell, c 1909-47, and an extensive series of correspondence with the critic and historian George Saintsbury (1845-1933), c 1914-33.
Also includes Collection of 133 manuscript and typescript letters from 34 correspondents to Otto Kyllmann (d. 1958), senior partner of the publishing firm, Constable & Co., with typescript copies of 16 of his letters to various correspondents, and one note in his hand; the whole collection spanning the period 1900-1957 and arranged chronologically.
Wright Collection (MS 16) - Listing
Papers and books of Dr. Stanley Fowler Wright (1873-1953), Commissioner of Customs and Personal Secretary to the Inspector General, the Chinese Maritime Customs. In addition to manuscripts, there are books in Chinese, books and pamphlets on China and on the Chinese Customs, many official printed papers, reports, etc., and copies of Customs publications, some with manuscript annotations by Wright. Among the manuscripts in the Collection are Wright's notes and papers for his various published works, including, 'Hart and the Chinese Customs' (Belfast, 1950), some letters of Sir Robert Hart, some of Wright's own official papers, and some of Wright's later correspondence, relating mainly to his published works.