Magee College Library houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Irish material in the north west of Ireland.

The main collection has some 5400 books and 800 pamphlets covering a wide subject area, with its main strengths being in Irish history and literature. There are many excellent primary history documents including all eighteen volumes of the Calendar of the Ancient Records of Dublin, all seven volumes of the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters and both volumes of the Annals of Loch Ce. There is also a collection of 18th century Irish printed material, Irish Statutes (1310 - 1800) and Calendars of State Papers.

Irish authors, such as Samuel Beckett , James Joyce and Sean O Casey , are all well represented in the literature section with many examples of their work, in the form of short stories, drama and fiction, as well as copies of their biographies and autobiographies.

The local and wider Northern Ireland community has made its contribution to the collection with many leaflets and pamphlets which have been collected over the years, including a rare 17th century pamphlet collection on the Siege of Londonderry in 1689. These are of special interest to local historians, who also find the Derry Almanacs a useful tool. The Almanacs are one of a number of sets of Irish journals housed with the main collection. Others include the Journal of the Royal Society of the Antiquaries of Ireland (1890 - 1992), and the Ulster Journal of Archaeology dating back to 1853.

The Library will continue to build on its strong base of primary Irish history material. It will also purchase other material, such as poetry, if this has a local or Ulster connection. As a result, the Library will be maintaining its support of both undergraduate study and postgraduate research.

The Magee Library Irish material is an extremely valuable resource and has calls upon its holdings both nationally and internationally, and ranks as a significant resource for the Humanities.


The Irish Collection is not open for general use. Only academic staff  have access to the room itself. All other readers should contact the Issue desk and complete a request slip for items to be retrieved. Retrieval takes place twice each day: 11.30am and 3.30pm. After 6.00pm, retrieval will be on demand, staff levels permitting.

Most material may be borrowed. However, material published before 1950 must be approved before issue, and some items are strictly for Library Use only.

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