Other Major Collections

Brocas Collection

‘A woman and child on a mountain road,’ attributed to Henry Brocas Snr. PD 2087 TX71‘A woman and child on a mountain road,’ attributed to Henry Brocas Snr. PD 2087 TX71

Consists of over 2,000 prints, drawings and watercolours representing the work of six members of the Brocas family, Dublin artists. Covering the period ca. 1754 to ca. 1873, it provides a visual record of 19th century Ireland, and is particularly rich in political and social caricature, depictions of urban and rural social life, agricultural and topography. It includes the well-known series of twelve views of Dublin by Samuel, engraved by his brother Henry Junior between 1818 and 1829, and also many theatrical and portrait engravings by Henry Senior which appeared in leading publications of the day.

Joseph Holloway Collection

‘Lennox Robinson,’ by Tom Lalor. PD 2159 TX 12‘Lennox Robinson,’ by Tom Lalor. PD 2159 TX 12

Consists of over 500 original drawings and cartoons relating to Irish literary and theatrical life during the first half of the twentieth century, and includes works by artists such as Grace Gifford Plunkett, Frank Leah and Philip Naviasky. Writers W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Lennox Robinson are among those depicted, as well as contemporary actors, actresses and producers, including sisters Máire O’Neill (Molly Allgood) and Sara Allgood and brothers Frank and William G. Fay. Holloway was the original architect for the Abbey and his plans and drawings are also among the collection. Diarist and collector Joseph Holloway (1861-1944) presented his collection to the Library in 1944.

Norah McGuinness Collection

Original design by Norah McGuinness for WB Yeats’ ‘Stories of Red Hanrahan and The Secret Rose’ PDOriginal design by Norah McGuinness for WB Yeats’ ‘Stories of Red Hanrahan and The Secret Rose’ PD

This extensive collection comprises books, periodicals, ephemera, correspondence, diaries, photographs, plates, prints and drawings by the painter, designer and illustrator Norah McGuinness (1901-1980).

It includes many original illustrations and designs for books, periodicals and ephemera.


The collection was presented to the Library by Rhoda McGuinness in 1994.




Murrogh V OBrien ‘Ship Pictures’ Collection

Detail of PD 4375 TX (A600).jpgDetail of PD 4375 TX (A600).jpg

Comprising some 900 sheets, with several ships per sheet, the collection constitutes a unique visual record of shipping in the port of Foynes over a 30-year period. Following a distinguished career as Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland and, later, as Managing Director of Tara Exploration and Development, Murrogh OBrien retired to his home on Foynes Island, Co. Limerick. In 1971, at the suggestion of one of his daughters, he began to make drawings of the ships that docked at Foynes port. All images were drawn to a scale of 1:900 (75 feet: 1 inch) and hand watercoloured. As well as drawing the ships, he also documented the ships’ cargoes, provenance and destinations. Other drawings provide records of regular visits to Foynes by the Irish Navy, Irish Lights vessels and Asgard II, as well as providing records of national regattas and the arrival of foreign yachts. The collection was presented to the Library on Mr OBrien’s behalf by his wife Suzanne and the couple’s four children in 2008.


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Ceiling design by Michael Stapleton (AD 2255).
Ceiling design by Michael Stapleton (AD 2255).
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