Donation of Yeats books a ‘gold mine’ for region

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Pictured admiring a Yeats volume at the Glucksman Library in UL were Ken Bergin, head of Special Collections, and Professor Michael Gilsenan. Below, Mr Bergin, Gobnait O'Riordan, UL library, Professor Michael Gilsenan and Professor Margaret Harper and a selection of some of the superb books donated to the UL library. Picture: Alan Place/Fusionshooters
A “MAGNIFICENT” collection of rare first edition books by WB Yeats, which have been donated to the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick, has been described as a “gold mine”.

A “MAGNIFICENT” collection of rare first edition books by WB Yeats, which have been donated to the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick, has been described as a “gold mine”.

The collection of books, plays and magazines, totalling some 166 items, was donated to the library by Professor Michael Gilsenan, of New York University, with the aid of the American Ireland Fund. The collection features copies of all of Yeats’ work such as The Tower, The Winding Stair, Wind Among the Reeds and Plays for an Irish Theatre.

UL is now home to one of the finest Yeats collections in Ireland, which is likely to change the study of the poet at the university and in the region in general, providing focus and inspiration for further scholarship.

Director of the Yeats Summer School and the president of the international Yeats society, Professor Margaret Harper, said WB Yeats “made sure his books were works of art in themselves . “Having Michael Gilsenan’s astonishing collection of first and rare editions of Yeats’s very beautiful books is a gold mine, putting UL firmly on the international map of places to go for Yeats scholarship.

“But this collection is first and foremost a tremendous resource for anyone who loves books and the words of Ireland’s great poet and playwright,” she said.

Gobnait O’Riordan, director of the library and information services at UL, said this significant donation is an “important milestone in building rare and archival collections at UL”.

“We are deeply grateful to Professor Michael Gilsenan for the gift of one of the finest Yeats collections to the Glucksman Library and also for his belief and trust in us. The gift of the carefully selected Gilsenan Yeats Collection will make a very significant addition to the Glucksman Library. It means that the University of Limerick is now home to one of the finest Yeats collections in Ireland.” The launch of the collection was in conjunction with the inaugural conference of the International Yeats Society being held in UL, which ran last week