Early Economics Collection Queen's University Belfast




Collection of works of early economic theory and philosophy dating from the 17th to the late 19th centuries. A relatively small assemblage of some 234 items, the collection includes a comprehensive range of material by many of the major economists of the period covered, in particular for the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Included can be found works by Adam Smith (1723-90), John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), W. Nassau Senior (1790-1864), David Ricardo (1772-1823), Jean Baptiste Say (1767-1832), Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) and Henry Sidgewick (1838-1900).


The collection is notable for its comprehensive selection of works of classic early economic theory.

Physical Characteristics

Approx. 234 items comprising folios, quartos and volumes.



Collection Type



Policy: Passive   Method: Purchase;   Periodicity: Irregular


The collection is available for reference only under supervised access in the Special Collections Reading Room at The McClay Library. Further information is available here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/specialcollections 

Visitor access to The McClay Library

Legal Status

Queen's Universtiy Belfast has legal ownership of this collection.

Description or Catalogue

Details of the Early Economics Collection can be found on the QUB on-line catalogue (QCAT) within the Special Collections sub-division, prefix "e," and is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/lib



Queen's University Belfast


Academic Institution


The Library at Queen’s was established in 1849 following the foundation of the original college in 1845. Based initially in the Great Hall, and, from 1869, in its own separate accomodation, the Library catered to the needs of all students enrolled in the college before future growth and expansion dictated otherwise. Today the Library is dispersed across a number of departmental libraries throughout Northern Ireland each providing access to what has become one of the largest collections of books, periodicals and pamphlets in the province with over one million items noted in the official library catalogue. Principal centres include the Main Library (with additional 1960s tower block) situated on the main campus site, the Medical Library at RVH, the Science Library in Chlorine Gardens (opened 1969), the Agriculture and Food Science Library at Newforge Lane (1970s), the Biomedical libraries in the City Hospital and in the Medical Biology Centre (Lisburn Rd), the Veterinary Research Library, the Seamus Heaney Library (1997) and the Campus Libraries at Armagh and Altnagelvin. Although largely adminstered as a separate unit for most of its history, the Library was recently amalgamated with the University’s Computer Services and Audio-Visual departments to form a new Information Services department in the year 2000.



Queen's University Belfast


The McClay Library
10 College Park




Access Control

The McClay Library operates a controlled entry system.  Members are required to use their Queen’s staff, student or library card to obtain admission. 

Information for visitor access to The McClay Library for researchers not affiliated with Queen's is available from the Library website at http://www.qub.ac.uk/lib

Visitor access to Special Collections & Archives is detailed here http://www.qub.ac.uk/specialcollections

Administrator Role








Academic Institution






Queen's University Belfast was formerly established as 'Queen's College, Belfast' by Queen Victoria in 1845 as one of a network of three Queen's Colleges in Ireland alongside Cork and Galway. It was raised to the status of a full university in 1908 with its own Charter and Statutes. When Queen's College first opened its doors in 1849, there were 20 professors and 90 matriculated students all based in the main Lanyon building off University Road, Belfast. Since then, the University has grown considerably both in reputation and stature reflecting its status as one of the oldest universities in the UK. Now catering to some 1,300 academics and 17,000 full and part-time students, the University offers courses and research opportunities in Agriculture & Food Science, Arts, Economics & Social Sciences, Medicine & Health Sciences, Science, Engineering, Education, Law and Theology based in centres within several miles of the original site, as well as a Marine Laboratory at Portaferry, a campus at Armagh City and outreach centres in Omagh and Newcastle and a nursing campus at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry. Notable persons to have come through Queen’s doors include Seamus Heaney, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland and senior officer at Queen's, David Trimble, a former member of teaching staff and a joint recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace and actor Liam Neeson.