Yeats Collections at Dublin City Library & Archive
Published on 10th June 2015
In this the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) people from around the world will be reassessing the contribution to world cultural heritage made by William Yeats and by other members of his family. Dublin’s libraries and galleries are very well furnished with the artistic output of the family, from the world-renowned poetry of William, to the paintings of his father John Butler Yeats (1839-1922), the exquisite paintings and drawings of his younger brother Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957), and the stunning hand-printed books, broadsides and greeting cards published by his sisters Susan Yeats (1866-1949) and Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (1868-1940) at the Dún Emer and Cuala presses. The National Gallery holds a renowned collection of Jack Yeats drawings as well as some of his finest paintings and the National Library hosts the fine Yeats exhibition.
Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive holds extensive collections of the works of this remarkable family. Each lending library in the city holds a reading and borrowing collection of William's works. At Dublin City Library and Archive in Pearse Street the reference collection holds examples from all members of the family. Two main collections make up the Yeats holdings: the Dublin Collection is made up of materials purchased each year since the foundation of the public library system in 1884, and contains first editions and translations of William’s work, broadsides and illustrated children’s books by Jack, illustrated books by John, and a fine collection of books, broadsides and cards published by the Dún Emer and Cuala presses. The Colin Smythe Yeats Collection was gathered by the Yeats scholar and publisher, Colin Smythe, from the early 1960s and was purchased by Dublin City in 1966, with later additions received by donation over the following 50 years. This discreet collection contains first editions, rare and variant printings and translations into world languages, and complements the Dublin Collection.
All items can be appreciated and enjoyed in the Reading Room, Dublin City Library & Archive.