Special Collections

Overview

Our department of special collections, rare books and manuscripts is situated in the contemporary and innovative Luke Wadding library, located on the main campus of Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.

 

An energy efficient ‘green’ building, the Luke Wadding library has won architectural and sustainable building awards and underpins Waterford Institute of Technology’s commitment to being a regional centre of excellence and a world-class learning and research environment.

The Team

The commitment to learning and research is reflected in the conservation, care, expertise and enthusiasm provided by our special collections team of Helen Hayden, Deputy Librarian BA, HDip LIS, Master of LIS, Kieran Cronin, Deputy Librarian, BA, HDip LIS and Kevin O’Hanlon, Master of Arts and Heritage Management.

 

Our special collections team provides support for researchers, historians, lecturers and students and is committed to the conservation and promotion of our rare books and manuscripts.

The Special Collections

WIT Library is currently custodian of a number of special collections – each collection has an important connection to Waterford.

This collection has been on long term loan to WIT since 2006.

 

It was originally housed in the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Waterford and is made up of several separate bequests to the Cathedral library.

 

The prestigious collection comprises over 3,300 books and is mainly ecclesiastical (around two thirds) and legal (around one third).

 

The material dates from the 16th up to the 19th century. Some 240 books from the collection are on loan from WIT Library to Waterford Museum of Treasures and are on display in the Bishop’s Palace.

 

As of July, 2013 the collection has been fully catalogued and is available for consultation at the Special Collections room in the Luke Wadding Library..

This collection was acquired at auction by WIT in 2006.

 

It comprises over 1,800 individual items, dating from the early 19th up to the mid-20th century.

 

The content varies widely and includes letters, diaries and newspaper articles, both in English and French, pertaining to various members of the famous Wyse family of Waterford. The best-known member of the family was Sir Thomas Wyse (1791-1862), who married Napoleon Bonaparte’s niece, Letitia, and was a leading nineteenth-century Irish and Westminster politician, an educationalist and a leading figure in Catholic Emancipation in Ireland.

 

As a member of the British Whig (Liberal) government, Thomas Wyse was central to educational reform and the setting up of the national school system. Thomas and Letitia had two children, Napoleon Alfred Bonaparte-Wyse (1822-1895) and William Charles Bonaparte-Wyse (1826-1892). This revealing collection captures the correspondence of several generations of the Bonaparte-Wyse family. There are also some letters between Thomas Wyse and several well-known figures such as Daniel O’Connell.

 

The Bonaparte-Wyse Collection has been fully catalogued and individual records can be viewed on the library’s online catalogue. Work on digitising the collection is ongoing.

Dr Hans Valdemar Rosen (1904) born in Dresden, Germany. He studied music at the University of Leipzig and Innsbruck and was a renowned choral conductor. He worked for many years as trainer and conductor of the Radio Eireann Singers.

 

His considerable and varied collection of musical scores and manuscripts was donated by his family to our special collections department upon his death. The collection is dominated by choral music, but also includes first editions of orchestral, chamber, opera and instrumental music and manuscripts by Irish composers such as William Wilson and Seoirse Bodley. The scores are for chorus, orchestra and many individual musical instruments. Folk music from Spain, Germany, Finland, Sweden and the USA is also included.

 

Preserve and Promote

The commitment to learning and research is reflected in the conservation, care, expertise and enthusiasm provided by our special collections team of Helen Hayden, Deputy Librarian BA, HDip LIS, Master of LIS, Kieran Cronin, Deputy Librarian, BA, HDip LIS and Kevin O’Hanlon, Master of Arts and Heritage Management.

 

Our special collections team provides support for researchers, historians, lecturers and students and is committed to the conservation and promotion of our rare books and manuscripts.

Digitisation

Our digitisation project of the Bonaparte-Wyse Collection has commenced. This process will enable manuscripts from the collection to be scanned and changed from physical documents to digital data and images viewable on the special collections website.

Digitisation allows the special collections to be accessible via the internet twenty-four hours a day seven days a week, an essential development in this age of research on demand.

Navigate to information pages within the website. To search for resources, please use the search bar on the home page.