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Special Collections Subject Guides: Manuscripts & Maps

Manuscript Collections

The Manuscript Collections include materials from the twelfth to the twenty-first century, with a particular bias towards the late nineteenth and early 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.

To view manuscript items, please consult the listings on our Manuscripts webpage and contact us in advance of your visit. Access may be restricted in the evenings and weekends. 

If you are non QUB card holder you must also register to visit the McClay Library

Featured Collection: Heaney Manuscripts (MS20)

The Heaney Manuscript Collection was donated to the University by Seamus Heaney in 2005. This collection is primarily composed of materials relating to Heaney's translation of the Old English epic Beowulf, including the original manuscript drafts and subsequent typescript drafts that trace the revision process. The collection contains a small assortment of Heaney's other writings and correspondence, including several drafts of poems, as well as two of his student notebooks and assorted loose-leaf notes from his time as an undergraduate student at Queen’s University.

Featured Collection: Somerville & Ross Manuscripts (MS17)

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.

Featured Collection: Comintern Papers (Irish Labour Movement) (MS57)

One of the ten boxes of archival material comprising MS57This 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. Unique outside of Russia, the papers provide considerable insight into the personalities, organisation and policy development of Irish Communism during the 1920s/1930s.

Featured Collection: Ewart Map Collection

The Ewart Map Collection contains approximately 150 original maps and facsimiles of printed and manuscript maps of Ireland; provinces and counties of Ireland; and individual places in Ireland, ca 1567-1900. About 50 of the maps are of Belfast or parts of Belfast, ca. 1570-1900. The collection also contains town plans, maritime surveys, ordnance survey maps (6 inch), and various railway, canal and road plans.

Full Special Collections Map Listing

Electronic access to a selection of the Ewart Map Collection is available on our Digital Special Collections & Archives website.

Contact Us

Special Collections & Archives

The McClay Library |  Queen's University Belfast | 10 College Park | Belfast | BT7 1LP

028 9097 6333 |

Head of Special Collections & Archives: Deirdre Wildy | 028 9097 6218 |