Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Since the launch of Adopt a Book appeal in 2003, over 2000 books have been “adopted.” Donors include Liam Neeson, Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, PD James, Emma Thomson and Michael Palin.  Funds raised through the scheme go to the Special Collections Endowment Fund, to enable us to purchase valuable papers and materials when they come onto the market.



For every £75 you donate, we will recognise your support by placing a bookplate inside the front cover of a Special Collections library book. You will receive details of the book together with the reference number should you wish to view it on the shelf.

The Special Collections service at Queen’s provides access to the McClay Library's rare and early printed book, map, and manuscript collections, as well as to more modern material relating to Ireland and Ulster in particular.  These resources are considered to be of lasting research value and very attractive, encouraging international students and researchers in related fields to come to Queen’s. 

Notable pieces within the collection include

    • The pamphlet collection of John Foster, first Baron Oriel (1740-1828) and last speaker of the Irish parliament
    • The Bunting music manuscripts, one of the most significant collections relating to the Irish harp
    • The personal papers and diaries of Portadown man Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911) which provide a candid insight into life, diplomacy and economics in 19th Century China
    • The Somerville (1858-1949) and Ross (1862-1915) papers, authors of the most popular and best-selling series of comic Irish short stories, the Irish R.M. tales.

As Queen’s continues to grow as a thriving centre of excellence, the enhancement of Special Collections will not only support research and scholars in the United Kingdom but also assist academics and researchers on a national and international level. 

For further information please contact:

Meaghan Lyons
Development & Alumni Relations Office
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3928

McClay Library Special Collections 


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