Irish Collections at Emory
Emory's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library holds one of the strongest collections outside of Ireland for the study of Irish literature. The Irish collection began in 1979 with the acquisition of archival material documenting the life and work of W.B Yeats and his circle including the Gregory family papers, the Maud Gonne Collection (including the Gonne-Yeats correspondence that spanned more than forty years), and the Abbey Theatre collection.
Since then, in addition to expanding the Yeats holdings, the Library has assembled papers relating to many of Ireland's finest contemporary writers and poets. You can navigate our collection using our FindingAids database. Our highlights include:
In 2003, Emory acquired a significant portion of Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney's archives. As well as holding Heaney's correspondence with many of the Irish writers in his circle, the library's Ted Hughes collection documents one of the most important poetic correspondences of the twentieth century. In 2018, Emory also acquired the complete papers of renowned Irish historian Roy Foster.
The archives enrich Emory's teaching mission by regularly inviting to campus those poets whose papers reside here. Goodrich C. White Professor of English, Ronald Schuchard has spent the past twenty years helping to build the Irish collection. "There's no greater reward than seeing a student's face when they're handling for the first time the manuscript of a poem they love," Schuchard said. "It's not just the poets' papers that are here," says Director of Irish Studies, Geraldine Higgins, "The poets are here as well, visiting classes, giving readings. Emory students have an amazing opportunity to see how poetry works with these kinds of resources."
Also of great interest to poetry enthusiasts is the Raymond Danowski Poetry library. Built over a period of 25 years - in large part thanks to the efforts of Prof. Ronald Schuchard- it includes over 70,000 works as well as scores of periodicals, manuscripts and other material. Highlights of Irish writing include one of twenty-five numbered copies of Yeats's "Easter 1916" "for distribution among friends," dated 25 September 1916, the first theatre edition of Yeats and Lady Gregory's Cathleen ni Houlihan and rare copies of Gorgon, the Queens University magazine where Seamus Heaney first appeared in print as "Incertus."