Royal University of Ireland Collection

UCD holds the collection of the Royal University of Ireland, 1880-1909

The Collection

The Royal University was a degree awarding body which operated in what is now Newman house on St. Stephen’s green between 1880 and 1909. It was succeeded by the National University of Ireland in 1909. It awarded degrees to University College, Dublin with which it was collocated on St Stephen’s Green as well as to other colleges and schools. University College was the successor to the Catholic University, established by Cardinal Newman. From 1882, it was administered by the Jesuits.

The examinations and the awarding of degrees were carried out by the fellows (teachers) of University College on behalf of the Royal University.

The books from the Royal University which remain in UCD’s collection were said to be the books used predominately by the examiners of the Royal University and also by its graduates, but not its students.

The Royal University books are predominantly in the areas of classics, philosophy, history, literature and mathematics. Presently, there are circa 300 books identified as having Royal University stamps but we are continuing to find more as work on the collection continues. The books are held in the SC Store collection.

Access and Use

The collections can be consulted by the students and staff of UCD, and by external users, in the Special Collections Reading Room.

More Information

Find material in the collection:

  • Use The Library Catalogue  to key in Royal University of Ireland
  • When you get a results screen select Special Collections from Location option in the left panel