Constantine Curran Book Collection

Constantine Curran

Constantine Curran

UCD Library Special Collections holds Constantine Curran’s book collection.

The Collection

  • The Constantine Curran book collection  contains first editions of important Irish writers such as James Joyce, W. B. Yeats, George Russell as well as many other figures in early 20th century Irish writing.
  • Some books are signed by the authors, many of whom were Curran’s personal friends.
  • It includes an impressive collection of Dun Emer and Cuala Press publications.
  • Curran’s letters and photographs are also held in Special Collections.
  • Curran’s books and letters as well as some photographs were purchased by UCD Library from Curran’s daughter Elizabeth Solterer in 1971.

Biographical History

  • Constantine Curran was born in Dublin.
  • He was a lawyer and a historian of 18th century Dublin architecture, sculpture and plasterwork, with a life-long interest in art and literature.
  • Curran was educated in Belvedere College and UCD.
  • He is perhaps best known for this lifelong friendship and association with James Joyce.
  • Joyce and Curran attended UCD together, both graduating with a BA in 1902.
  • Curran also knew other early 20th century Irish writers, including W.B. Yeats, A.E. Russell, James Stephens and Padraic Colum.
  • His collections of books, letters and photographs go some way to documenting the development of the Irish literary revival.
  • He was also a renowned scholar of Georgian art and architecture.

"‘By a happy providence his life coincided exactly with the dawn, high noon and the sunset of what has come to be called the Irish Renaissance.’ Bodkin, H (1972) “Obituary of Curran” Studies: 61."

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 Constantine Curran
  • When you get a results screen select Special Collections from Location option in the left panel

Find information on Constantine Curran in the Dictionary of Irish Biography (UCD only).