Amanda McKittrick Ros Collection Belfast Central Library


Amanda McKittrick Ross (1860-1939) was born in Drumaness, Co Down. She published her first novel "Irene Iddesleigh" at her own expense in 1898. She proved to be a prolific novelist and poet. Despite not being read very widely her eccentric writing style was famed amongst critics and admirers as creating some of the worst prose and poetry ever written. Her novel Irene Iddesleigh was published by Nonesuch Press in 1926. She was heavily influenced by the novelist Marie Corelli. Her admirers included Mark Twain, Aldous Huxley and Lord Beveridge. She died in 1939. Belfast Public Libraries holds a large collection of manuscripts, typescripts and first editions of her work. Manuscript copies include Irene Iddesleigh, Sir Benjamin Bunn and Six months in Hell. Typescript versions of all the above are held together with Rector Rose, St. Scandal Bags and The Murdered Heiress among others. The collection of first editions covers all her major works including volumes of her poetry Fumes of Formation and Poems of Puncture, together with lesser known pieces such as Kaiser Bill and Donald Dudley: The Bastard Critic. The collection contains hundreds of letters addressed to Ros, with, in many cases, her own comments in the margins. Also included are typed copies of her letters to newspapers, correspondence with her admiring publisher T.S. Mercer, an album of newspaper cuttings and photographs, and a script for a BBC broadcast from July 1943.


It is a very comprehensive collection of Ros's work, which is well augmented by many letters annotated by Ros. It is possible to examine her works through various stages.

Physical Characteristics

The collection comprises manuscripts, typescripts, published works as well as photographs and a large collection of letters.



Collection Type



Policy: Closed   Method: Purchase;   Periodicity: Closed


The material may be consulted at Belfast Central Library. Enquiries should be made to the Local History Department on the second floor. The material is for reference only. An appointment is not necessary

Legal Status

Libraries NI have legal owership of this collection. All enquiries regarding access and permissions should be directed to Libraries NI.

Description or Catalogue

Listed on the Fine Book Room Catalogue - automated inhouse database.



Mercer, T.S.


Editor and Publisher


T.S. Mercer was an editor, publisher, bookseller and bibliophile. He was a friend to and admirer of the work of Amanda McKittrick Ros. They maintained a regular correspondence from 1927 until her death in 1939. Mercer saved the material in the collection from destruction after her death. He was responsible for collating, transcribing and editing it.



Belfast Central Library


Belfast Ulster and Irish Studies Department, Royal Avenue, Belfast

United Kingdom


Access Control

Most of the stock is available for loan to any registered member of the Northern Ireland Library Authority. Hire charges apply to audio/ visual stock. Borrower tickets can be acquired from any public library in Northern Ireland on production of valid identification confirming name and address. A limited amount of material is for reference only. No prior appointment is necessary. Library opening hours are Monday to Thursday (09.00-20.00), Friday (09.00-17.30) and Saturday (09.00-16.30).

Administrator Role

Irish & Local Studies Librarian


+44 (0)28 9050 9150




Public Library Service





The Northern Ireland Library Authority (Libraries NI) was established in April 2009 as a result of the Review of Public Administration. Libraries NI has the statutory responsibility for the provision of public library services in Northern Ireland. Its functions are laid down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. It is a Non Departmental Public Body which reports to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Board of the Authority consists of a Chairperson and 18 Members, 11 of whom are Councillors, within the meaning of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. All Board Members are appointed by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The executive business of the Board is carried out by a team of officers under the leadership of the Chief Executive. The Executive Team is organised into three strategic units, each being led by a member of the Senior Management Team.