A Novelist, George A. Birmingham

Research Institutes

| (1) Libraries holding Birmingham’s works and books on Birmingham | (2) Other research institutes |

(1) Libraries holding Birmingham’s works and books on Birmingham

Trinity College Library Dublin (Ireland)


The library of Trinity College Dublin from which Birmingham graduated. This library holds most of Birmingham’s works. The following two items are held only in this library.

  • James Owen Hannay, Early Attempts at Christian Reunion (1929)
  • Therese Law, “The Fiction of George A. Birmingham”; Ph.D. Thesis, Trinity College Dublin (1966)

Manuscripts and Archives Research Library of Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)


This library is inside the Old Library of the College. After Birmingham’s death, his second daughter Althea Hannay donated to the College a number of manuscripts of Birmingham’s works, his letters, his articles in newspapers and periodicals, his family photographs, and reviews of his works. R.B.D. French, a lecturer of the College and the pioneer of the studies on Birmingham, classified them in order. Today they are reserved in this library as the Papers of JO. Hannay.

National Library of Ireland (Ireland)


This national library in Dublin holds most of Birmingham’s works. They also hold The Church of Ireland Gazette, a weekly periodical, to which Birmingham contributed articles from 1904. He used his real name, James Owen Hannay, in writing for the periodical. A number of Birmingham’s letters are held in the Manuscripts Reading Room, too.

Queen’s University of Belfast Library (Northern Ireland)


This university library holds a number of Birmingham’s works as a Special Collection. The following item is held only in this library.

  • Hilda Anne O’Donnell, “A Literary Survey of the Novels of Canon James Owen Hannay (George A. Birmingham)”, M. A. Thesis, The Queen’s University of Belfast (1959)

Linen Hall Library (Northern Ireland)


This library, located in the center of Belfast, holds about half of Birmingham’s works. The following two works of Birmingham’s father, Robert Hannay, are held only in this library.

  • Rev. Robert Hannay, Select papers; by Robert Hannay, A. M., Belfast: Poetry by Rev. Thomas Drew, D.D., Seaforde (1869)
  • Rev. Robert Hannay, Position and prospects of the Church of Ireland. A sermon preached in Christ Church, on Sunday, March 15, 1868 (1868)

British Library (England)


This national library in London holds most of Birmingham’s works. They also hold, in the Manuscripts Reading Room, the script of General John Regan: A Play in Three Acts, which was produced at the Apollo Theatre in London in 1913. It is a part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Papers. Some letters which Birmingham wrote to George Bernard Shaw are the other items held only in this library.

New York Public Library (U.S.A.)


This library holds many Birmingham works. They also hold, in the Performing Arts Research Collection, the script of General John Regan: a play in three acts which was produced at the Hudson Theatre in New York in November, 1913.

University of Texas at Austin Library (U.S.A.)


The library holds many of Birmingham’s works including a microfilm edition of “Driven: A Story of Strade Moor”.  This short story first appeared in pp,237-251 of Temple Bar  No. 395 , October 1893.  Before making his debut as a novelist, Birmingham sent this short story to Temple Bar, the literary periodical published in London, and they accepted it for publication.  (See the letter of the Office of “Temple Bar” to J.O. Hanny, December 7, 1891, TCD Manuscripts 3454-7,)

Harry Ransom Humanities Center, University of Texas at Austin (U.S.A.)


The center holds the George Bernard Collection which contains 7 letters of Shaw addressed to Birmingham from December 15th, 1911, to February 29th, 1912.  These letters show that Shaw rated Birmingham’s play General John Regan very highly.  The collection also contains the memorandum of the agreement between Birmingham and the London producer on the production of General John Regan, on which Shaw gave a number of modifications.

(2) Other research institutes

Clew Bay Heritage Centre (Ireland)


A historical museum of Westport, County Mayo. Birmingham lived in Westport from 1892 to 1913 and started writing novels in this town. Some of his novels are exhibited. This museum is run by the Westport Historical Society. The Society publishes a bi-annual journal, Cathair na Mart: Journal of Westport Historical Society, in which some articles on Birmingham have appeared. See the “Books & Articles on Birmingham” section.

Westport House (Ireland)


A mansion house in Westport. The Browne family has lived here since the 16th century. Today the house is open to the public. They exhibit the waxworks of renowned literary figures who visited the house, such as W.B. Yeats, George Moore and Birmingham.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland)


This public record office in Belfast holds letters of Birmingham’s younger brother, R.S. Hannay, and his younger sister, Agnes, as well as letters of Birmingham. They also hold the documents of agreement for lease of Ballylough House from William Trail to Birmingham’s paternal grandfather, James Hannay. The house is located in the suburbs of Bushmills, County Antrim.