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Special Collections' & Archives' Subject Support: History of Art

How Special Collections can help you with your research, teaching, learning & assignments.

Introduction to Art Resources

Special Collections & Archives have a wide range of items and collections to assist research on Art. In some cases the collection may be of interest as with the fine printing presses of Cuala, Three Candles and Dolmen Presses, whereas in others it may be the provenance that is of more interest: Robert Gibbings Collection or Elisabeth Friedlander Collection (library).

We also hold the Elizabeth Friedlander Collection (archives) containing the working papers of a graphic designer famed for her intricate boarder designs, and her custom designed font 'Elizabeth', as well as a small collection of letters relating to Cuala Press (1922-1939).

Within the landed estate collections 19th & 20th century sketchbooks and scrapbooks belonging to individuals illustrate their travels around Ireland, England and Europe, giving a snapshot of places and people visited, as well as different artistic styles and materials used (pencil/pastel/watercolour).These archival collections include:
The Bantry Estate Collection (Co. Cork)
The Bantry Estate Collection: Ancillary (Co. Cork)


The selection of bookplates held within the library is varied with a number of reference works also present. 

Reference works include:

Bookplates within the collection include: 

This image contains two of the bookplates held within Elizabeth Friedlander's collection: that of Alexander Magri MacMahon and Walter Toscanini. When Queen's College Cork became UCC in 1908 a new bookplate for the library was required. Robert Gibbings designed the replacement bookplate. 

Art Course & Module Guides

All PDF documents are available as Word documents. Please contact should this be required.

Opening Hours

Piloting extended opening hours 26 February-23 August 2024 


  • All rooms: Monday-Friday 10:00-16:30.
  • Microform & Reference Reading Room: Wednesday: 10:00-19:15 (Semester Only*).
  • Closed: Weekends, Public Holidays & Christmas Week.

*Excluding January and Easter Recess. For further details see the Library Calendar.


We are open to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. For more information about what items must be requested and to request them via the online request form see Request Special Collections & Archives.


If you have any queries relating to our collections please email