Browse Exhibits (6 total)

'Surviving the city': Poverty and Public Health in Belfast, 1888-1914

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The exhibition highlights, through images and text from primary sources, the experience of poverty and poor health in the period of Belfast’s most rapid population and economic expansion, between the granting of city status in 1888 and the outbreak of the First World War. We explore the underside of ‘booming Belfast’ through a number of sections on ‘The emerging city’, ‘Growing pains’, ‘Work’, 'Public Health', 'Welfare' and 'Charity'.


'Poverty and public health in Belfast, providing an historical perspective on welfare and public health in Belfast the region' (

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Children's Literature and Education in 19th Century Ireland and Australia

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Scottish-born Australian writer, Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910), believed that at the heart of a good education is 'the enjoyment of a good story'. Reading, she argued in 1905, is the 'key to the universe'.

For the first time, this exhibition bring together materials from libraries and museums across Ireland and Australia to illustrate the connections between childhood reading and education in these two countries. These materials provide a fascinating insight into the circulation of texts and ideas that underpinned children's literature and education in the British colonies in the nineteenth century. They also demonstrate the centrality of women writers to educational thinking in this time period, as well as the significance of children's literature in the processes of nation building. 

Materials for this exhibition have been borrowed from key primary and manuscript collections - the Thyne Reid Trust Collection of Children's Books held at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; the Nesbitt School Textbook Collection in the Special Collections Library at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland; and the Irish National Readers Collection at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra, Northern Ireland. 

This exhibition significantly brings together these three important collections and extends existing knowledge of the historical interconnections between Ireland and Australia. 


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Moore's Irish Melodies in Europe

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This exhibit, drawn from the collection 'Moore's Irish Melodies: Texts and Illustrations', traces the publication of collected editions of the lyrics across space (Europe) and time (between 1808-1880) by presenting their title page and a selected lyric. Prefatory material or a sample of the binding (through display of the cover) will sometimes feature as well.

'Moore's Irish Melodies in Europe' and its associated collection concentrate on editions dedicated to Moore's Irish Melodies, or sigificant collections of Moore's poetical works.

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Music to Moore's Irish Melodies in Dublin and London

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This exhibition tells the story of Moore's Irish Melodies through the circulation of the original series - as well as edited or newly-composed versions of the project - in Dublin and London before 1881. These were the two main centres for the publication of Moore's music.

Two songs in particular are chosen to demonstrate this circulation: "Fly not yet" from the first number, and 'The Fortune Telller' ("Down in the valley") from the eighth number

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Somerville & Ross: A Lasting Legacy


"It was in October, 1887, that we began what was soon to be known to us as 'The Shocker,' and 'The Shaughraun,' to our family generally as 'that nonsense of the girls,' and subsequently, to the general public as 'An Irish Cousin'.

Given that 'every man's hand was against' them in their desire to 'commence author', E. OE. Somerville (1858-1949) and Martin Ross's (1862-1915) manuscript papers at Queen's not only represent the stunning and rarely divulged multiplicity, professionalism, and inexhaustible literary output of the two Irish 'shockers', but also survive as a potent symbol of female determination in the face of nineteenth-century social and family gender conventions.

An important and unique collection reflecting the lives, interests and work of the two authors, The Somerville and Ross archive at Queen's consists largely of  literary papers, personal correspondence, diaries, and Somerville's pen and wash book illustrations and pencil sketches.

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The tales and travels of Lalla Rookh

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 This exhibition allows the reader to experience the story of Moore's Lalla Rookh through a selection of the music and illustrations that Moore's oriental romance inspired. The circulation of illustrated editions and musical scores across space (Europe) and time (between 1817 and 1880) may also be explored. The images displayed here are but a selection from the complementary OMEKA collection, 'Lalla Rookh in 19th-century Europe'.

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