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Older and rare books constitute a substantial part of our Special Collections.  Strengths include:

  • 19th century illustrated anatomical, botanical and zoological collections
  • 19th century engineering and construction
  • History of Ireland with particular reference to local history
  • Irish language including biography, fiction, poetry and translation
  • Irish folklore
  • Religion, devotional literature and bibles
  • Travel literature relating to Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially pertaining to the Western seaboard

We also have significant holdings of 19th century academic materials which were purchased when the College was opened in 1849.

To discover rare and antiquarian material on your topic, search by subject on the Library Catalogue. You will notice options to filter your results . Choose Special Collections under the collections heading to see details of materials on your topic that are housed in Special Collections.

Please note that all Special Collections material must be used within the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room of the Library and may not be loaned. When the library catalogue entry says 'Available at Special Collections Reading Room'  the book is immediately available for consultation. If the entry doesn't specifically mention the Reading Room, the it is necessary to request the book. 



Special Collections Reading Room On Shelves, non loanable
Special Collections Request only, non loanable

Items which are 'Request only' may be requested using the online facility in the book's catalogue record. Printed requests should be submitted to the desk in the Special Collections Reading Room.


  • Highlights from the Special Collections

    Highlights from the Special Collections PDF (42.9 MB)