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Special Collections & Archives



Please note that, due to covid-19 precautions, access to both special collections reading rooms (in JPII and Russell libraries) is at a reduced capacity.

If it is not possible to deal with your query remotely, you can make an appointment with us at least a week in advance. Please e-mail us for further information.

Welcome to the Special Collections and Archives library guide which provides information about the contents of our collections and details of how to access and consult material. These collections are open to staff and students, researchers and members of the public. They cover a wide range of subjects including theology, philosophy, mathematics history, geography, science, literature and  languages. Other important collections cared for by Special Collections & Archives are medieval and Gaelic manuscripts, archival material and incunabula (pre-1501 printing). 

Contact Us

John Paul II Library Special Collections Reading Room 

Phone: 01-4747423


Special Collections & Archives,
John Paul II Library,
Maynooth University,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare
W23 VP22


Russell Library Reading Room

Phone: 01-7083890


Russell Library, 
St. Patrick's College, Maynooth,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare 
W23 VP22


Special Collections & Archives Staff

  • Alexandra Caccamo, Special Collections Librarian
  • Susan Durack, Senior Library Assistant
  • David Rinehart, Library Assistant
  • Audrey Kinch, Library Assistant
  • Darren Sturdy, Library Assistant
  • Adam Staunton, Library Assistant
  • Róisín Berry, Archivist
  • Ciara Joyce, Archivist
  • Miriam Van Der Molen, Archivist
  • Louise Walsworth Bell, Conservator
  • Gretchen Allen, Conservator

Special Collections & Archives

What is Special Collections & Archives?

Special Collections & Archives is home to the historical and special collections of St Patrick’s College Maynooth and Maynooth University which includes rare books, manuscripts, archives, newspapers, maps, pamphlets, limited and illustrated editions, and autographed copies. The Russell Library houses the historical collections of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth which contains approximately 34,000 printed works dating from the 15th to the mid 19th century across a range of subjects including: theology, mathematics, science, geography and history. The Special Collections & Archives Reading Room in the John Paul II Library contains the special and historical collections of Maynooth University, including over 8,000 printed works dating from the 15th century onwards, archival collections, calendars, directories and cartographic material. 

The staff in Special Collections & Archives have a dual role, to preserve the collections in our care and to make them accessible to the research community. We work to actively embed our Unique and Distinctive Collections into the curriculum to support the teaching and learning goals of Maynooth University. We are also responsible for delivering a programme of exhibitions and events on campus and beyond. 

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