Skip to Main Content

Medieval Studies: Special Collections

medieval history, medieval literature, Europe, philosophy, art, religion, manuscripts,

Older Printed Books

Special Collections holds a number of older printed book collections (material pre-1850). These can only be used in the Rare Books Reading Room which is open 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 16:30. 

Older printed books collections include: 

Collection: Green Coat School

The school started as a private foundation for the children of poor Protestant families on Cork city’s northside.  It was so called because the uniform was a green coat and cap. This school and the Cork Blue Coat School became closely linked to the city and to public charity. Both schools were vocationally oriented. The Green Coat School Collection contains 280 items with material in Latin, French and Spanish. Material in the colleciton dates from the 16th - 18th centuries. The collection contains material on political books and pamphlets, especially concerning the Catholic-Protestant relationship, items on theology, philosophy and ethics. 

Collection: Arbois de Jubainville

The Arbois de Jubainville collection consists of 304 items which are mostly books with some pamphlets. Professor Marie Henri D’Arbois de Jubainville (1827 – 1910) was a French historian and Celtic scholar in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The then University President Bertram Windle acquired the collection in 1907 for UCC. The collection contains material in French, German, Manx, Breton, Cornish, Welsh, Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic. Material in the collection dates from 1707 – 1918 and the subjects include Celtic studies, religious thought, antiquities and folklore.

Martin, Jacques. Histoire des Gaules et des conquêtes des Gaulois: depuis leur origine jusqu'à la fondation de la monarchie françoise; ouvrage enrichi de monumens antiques & de cartes géographiques. Paris: Impr. de Le Breton, 1752-54.

Collection: Older Printed Books

The Older Printed Books Collection contains material published before 1851 which for the most part were purchased between 1849 (when the College was founded) and 1900; some were received from institutions such as the Royal Cork Institution, the old Cork Public Library and the Royal Irish Academy. The collection contains 13,000 volumes.  The collection contains material in: French, German, Italian, Latin, Irish Gaelic, Greek, Dutch and Spanish. The majority of items date from the 18thand 19th centuries with a small portion from the 16th and 17thcenturies. Subjects include: Irish, English and European history, philology, palaeography, literature, music, philosophy, natural sciences and medicine. 

Collection: St Fin Barre's Cathedral Library

St Fin Barre's Cathedral Library was founded in 1720 by Bishop Browne and UCC Library acquired it in 1984. The bulk of the collection consists of the private collections of Archdeacon Pomeroy (1725), Bishop Crow of Cloyne (1727) and Bishop Stopford (1805).  Subjects include theology and ecclesiastical matters, classics, history, literature and science. Most of the books were printed in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, chiefly in London and Dublin. The collection contains material in French, German, Italian, Latin, Irish Gaelic, Greek, Dutch and Spanish.

St. Antonius. Quarta pars totius summe maioris beati Antonini. Venetijs: per Lazarum de Soardis, 1503. 


Reference Sources

Special Collections holds the following books in series:

  • Patrologia Graeca
  • Patrologia Latina
  • Corpus Christianorum
  • Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum 
  • Sources Chretiennes 
  • Irish Texts Society
  • Library of the Fathers 
  • Scriptores Latini Hiberniae
  • Studia Patristica

Special Collections also holds material on:

  • Abbreviations & Names
  • Biblica
  • Cartularies
  • Catalogues & Bibliographies
  • Dictionaries, Encyclopedia & Atlases
  • Hagiography


Special Collections holds facsimiles of annals and manuscripts:

  • Annals of Inisfallen
  • Annals of Ulster
  • Book of Armagh 
  • The Book of Ballymote 
  • Books of Kells 
  • Leabhar Breac or The Speckled Book 
  • The Book of Lecan 
  • The Yellow Book of Lecan
  • Gutenberg Bible
  • Luttrell Psalter
  • Utrecht Psalter

Special Collections holds manuscripts on microfilm from institutions in Ireland, Europe and America.

Special Collections holds over 200 Gaelic Irish manuscripts.


Special Collections holds a number of incunabula (items printed before 1501):