Special Collections and Archives department at the Glucksman Library supports the teaching and learning mission of the University of Limerick by ensuring access to rich primary source materials, and by offering research assistance and course-specific instruction and reference.
Read more below about the teaching and research services offered by the department. Follow the links on this page to search or browse the collections and online teaching resources.
Research assistance is available in person in the reading room, and remotely by phone or email — contact us here.
Staff can advise on making the best use of the collections, and assist in identifying and using appropriate materials. In order to ensure a productive visit, researchers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the research collections — read more here.
Copying and reproductions
Reproductions can be requested for private study, scholarship or research, subject to copyright and donor specifications. A photocopier is available for patron use in the Reading Room. Staff will provide guidance regarding reproductions and any relevant fees that may apply.
Classes and workshops
Department staff are available to assist with, and coordinate sessions in courses where students are encouraged to use primary sources such as rare books, archives, manuscripts, photographs and ephemera. The department is rich with these resources and present endless opportunities for exploration.
Most recent classes include introductory sessions on the work of the department, the importance and value of special collections and archives for research, specific sources in the collections for BA and MA courses in History, Architecture, English and Ethnochoreology, as well as broader theoretical classes on archival theory and research ethics.
The department has a dedicated training room on the ground floor of the Glucksman Library, where student groups can engage with original material. Faculty who are interested in Special Collections and Archives instruction are encouraged to contact the Department before the start of the academic term.
Online teaching resources
The department has a number of online guides to help students and scholars to get the most from its research collections. Its LibGuide provides more detailed information on the work and services offered by the department, while its blog provides regular topical and thematic highlights from its most recently catalogued and acquired material. The department also encourages faculty, students and researchers who have used its collections and engaged with its staff to contribute guest posts for inclusion on the blog — please contact us to enquire about making a contribution.
Exhibitions as learning resources
The department ran two online exhibitions between 2014 and 2018. Though these have now ended, their content remains available online. Both provide a close reading of unique archival documents and photographs from the UL collections, exploring the context and significance of the broader research topic. In this sense, they serve as fantastic teaching resources, whether for secondary or tertiary students.
In Long Way to Tipperary, students can relive the wartime experience of this family through the diaries and letters contained in our Armstrong Collection. Week by week, it follows the lives of the Armstrong family from Moyaliffe, Co Tipperary during the First World War.
The Limerick and the 1916 Rising exhibition tells the story of the Limerick Fenian John Daly, his family and their contribution and involvement in the 1916 Rising. Highlights include the last known letters of Seán MacDiarmada and Edward ‘Ned’ Daly.
We also occasionally curate exhibitions on the ground floor of the Glucksman Library, which always makes for a great class visit. Subscribe to the department blog or follow us on Twitter for updates.
Helpful links for searching and browsing the collections
Knowing where to start can sometimes be the most difficult part of any research project. Use the links below to browse the collections by type, whether from the archives, the National Dance Archive of Ireland, or the rare book collections. You can also choose to browse by research theme — the link below will display all collections relating to a particular topic, for example, estate and family history, politics or military history.
If you’re looking for something specific, you can read and download PDF catalogues for over 30 individual archival collections using the link below. Check back on these pages regularly, or follow the department blog, as new collections are regularly made available online. You can also search the department’s rare book collections using the link to the Glucksman Library search page below — make sure to choose ‘Special Collections’ from the dropdown menu to help narrow your search.