Advent Calendar 2017

Welcome to the Glucksman Library's Advent Calendar 2017.
Cover image: Robin from Tablets of the Heart. Poems Rhymes and Aphorisms selected and arranged by Frederick Langbridge (1883)

Each day we will reveal a new treasure from our Special Collections and Archives. We hope that you will enjoy these representations from our collections and hope it will encourage you to visit our Library.


Seasonal Greetings to all from the staff at the Glucksman Library


Turn the page, or use the menu to find a link to each new item, as we countdown to Christmas.



All images are copyright of the Glucksman Library and may not be used without permission.

We’d love to hear what you think


Special Collections & Archives Department
Glucksman Library | Leabharlann Glucksman
University of Limerick | Ollscoil Luimnigh
Limerick | Luimneach
Ireland | Eire
Tel | Fón +353 61 213158
Email | Ríomhphost specoll@ul.ie

1 December


Rosemarie Cockayne enjoyed a distinguished career as a dancer before turning her attention to fine art. As well as painting and drawing in diverse media, she designed stage sets and costumes, some of which are found at the National Dance Archive of Ireland. This watercolour of Rosemarie was painted by the artist Zdzislaw Ruszkowski (1907-1991) and is included in the archive.

National Dance Archives of Ireland

2 December


Novelty picture postcard sent 23 January 1906 to a Limerick recipient with the message “Wishing you the brightest and best of years. And to continue to the end of your life.”

Leonard Collection

3 December


Black and white negative showing the ladies wear counter at Shannon Airport Duty Free during the Christmas season, 1960. Established in 1947, it is the original and longest-running duty free shop in the world.

Shannon Development Photograph Archive

4 December


Born in Birmingham, though of Irish descent, Frederick Langbridge (1849-1922) was a novelist, poet, and playwright. In 1883 he was appointed Rector of St. John’s, one of the five original parishes in Limerick City, where he remained until his death in 1922. Langbridge’s Tablets of the Heart. Poems Rhymes and Aphorisms… (1883) includes a collection of Christmas ‘legends, stories, carols, fancies, and greetings.’

Leonard Collection

5 December


Edward Fitzgibbon was born in Limerick in 1803. A keen angler from youth, he published The Book of the Salmon in 1850 under the pseudonym ‘Ephemera’. Fitzgibbon’s publication was the first to provide a comprehensive guide to salmon fishing and he regarded it as the acme of his teachings. The work is especially prized for the quality of its hand-coloured plates of flies and salmon fry, beautifully rendered by the Adlard brothers of London.

Leonard Collection

6 December


‘Youghall Abbey, County Cork, Ireland’ from The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland (Vol. II), drawn by W.H. Bartlett and engraved by E.J. Roberts. The North Abbey was founded in the thirteenth-century beyond the walls of medieval Youghal. Little of the building survived through the centuries. Visible in this drawing of c. 1841 is the west gable of the church with a three-light window.

McAnally Collection

7 December


Christmas card featuring an image of Albrecht Dürer’s The Hare. Dürer was among the first artists to view animals as a subject worth attention and examination. Painted in 1502 using his preferred media of watercolour and gouache, the work was quickly recognised as a masterpiece of observational art.

Armstrong Papers

8 December


Signed by the author, this Angela’s Ashes Broadside holds the opening paragraphs from McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir and features a striking woodcut illustration by renowned designer Julie Freeman. 49/250 edition. Generously donated by Geraldine and Conor Kenny.

Special Collections

9 December


A Christmas greeting message sent from Brian Ó hUiginn, O’Curry College, Carrigaholt, County Clare to Madge Daly, Limerick in 1917.

Daly Papers

10 December


Christmas day menu, 1927, its inner pages signed by members and friends of the Armstrong family of Moyaliffe, County Tipperary.


Armstrong Papers

11 December


Sinn Féin series Christmas card sent from Padraig O’hIfearnáin to Seán Ó Cléirigh, c. 1920. The card points to the pervasiveness of political concern in Ireland following the 1916 Rising; debate over Irish sovereignty was so all-encompassing as to enter into every part of Irish life during the period.

Norton Collection

12 December


Postcard published by G&W McKern & Sons Printers and Stationers established in 1806 on the corner of Rutland Street and Francis Street in Limerick City.

Leonard Collection

13 December


Part of a hand-drawn survey of Banagher, County Offaly, undertaken by John Logan in 1828 for Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough.

Norton Collection

14 December


Christmas card featuring a print of the oil painting by George Frederick Arthur Belcher (1875-1947) titled I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls. The sitter’s name is Thomas Jagger, a retired Army Sergeant and distant relative of Belcher. Agreeing to pose for the painting, Thomas was given a cornet and paid the sum of £3-10s. However, he could not play the cornet and if you looked closely at the original painting, you would see that the music sheet is upside down!

Armstrong Papers

15 December


Mezzotint engraving of Torc Cascade illustrated by Francis S. Walker, from Killarney’s Lakes and Fells (1902).

Norton Collection

16 December


Hand drawn menu for a three course dinner held 16 January 1931 at 10 Adam Street, Adelphi, London, signed on the reverse by participants who included Limerick author Kate O’Brien and her sister, Clare.


O'Mara Papers

17 December

Illustration from The Coming of Lugh A Celtic Wonder-tale Retold by Ella Young Illustrated by Maud Gonne (1909). Young (1865-1951) was a poet and author of children’s stories who spent many months over a number of years in the west of Ireland collecting folklore and learning the Irish language. This was the first collaborative publication of Young’s text with her friend Maud Gonne’s illustrations.

Gilsenan Collection

18 December


Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931) was an Anglo-Irish poet, songwriter, and folklorist who took a leading part in the late nineteenth-century revival of Irish literature. ‘First Winter-Song’ appears in The Poem-Book of the Gael (1912) compiled by Eleanor Hull (1860-1935), writer, journalist, and scholar of Old Irish.

Norton Collection

19 December


Photograph of members of the Armstrong family standing arm in arm [at Dromineer, County Tipperary], c. 1915. The family’s story continues in It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.

Armstrong Papers

20 December


Map of Irrebeg, Lixnaw, County Kerry, from a survey of the Estate of the Earl of Listowel.

Lysaght Collection

21 December


An etching illustrating the Ostend Gate, Bruges, by J. E. Rogers, A.R.H.A., part of the Dublin Art Club Portfolio of Etchings, 1891.

Norton Collection

22 December


Front cover of a programme for performances of The Nutcracker by the London Festival Ballet at the Royal Festival Hall, London during their 1957 Christmas season. From the Catherine Gyll Papers.

National Dance Archive of Ireland

23 December


Illustration of stained glass windows in the nave of Christchurch Cathedral, from a book extravagantly bound in full vellum gilt and published in 1882 to commemorate the restoration of the Cathedral by George Edmund Street, leading ecclesiastical architect and champion of Gothic style.

Norton Collection

24 December


And finally, a Christmas card to extend ‘The Season’s Best Wishes’ to all on Christmas Eve. From the staff of the Glucksman Library.

Armstrong Papers