Personal, literary and collected papers of and/or relating to Thomas Carnduff (1886-1956), the Belfast essayist, playwright and poet. An important figure in cultural circles during the early 20th century, Thomas Carnduff, the so-called 'Shipyard Poet,' was a profilic writer and acute observer of Belfast life. The Thomas Carnduff Archive consists of draft and annotated manuscripts of Carnduff's principal works including the plays, 'Castlereagh' (1935), Give Losers Leave To Talk: A Belfast Shipyard Play in Three Acts' and his seminal piece, 'Workers,' which was first performed by the Abbey Theatre in 1932. Other manuscripts featured consist of an incomplete typescript draft of Carnduff's autobiography, various published and unpublished poetry including the anthologies, 'Songs from the Shipyards and Other Poems' (l924) and 'Songs of an Out-of-Work' (l932), and other short stories and articles. Of the personal papers included in the collection can be found correspondence from his second wife, Mary Carnduff, c 1940-44, and various literary associates and friends, including the authors, John Masefield and Richard Hayward, a brief series of collected papers of the Young Ulster Society (co-founded by Carnduff in 1936), and material relating to Carnduff's involvement in the Independent Orange Order movement and the Young Ulster Volunteers. The collection also consists of theatrical ephemera relating to the production of Carnduff's work at the Empire Theatre, Belfast and Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in addition to various personal photographs, sketches, certificates and books etc. The Carnduff Archive also includes correspondence and articles relating to Noel Carnduff's search for his father's work and various other published works about Carnduff, his life and writing.
The Thomas Carnduff Collection represents a rich resource for students of Ulster drama and Anglo-Irish literature, in addition to providing a valuable and unique commentary on, and insight into, the social, political and cultural development of Belfast during the first half of the 20th century, particularly from the perspective of the working class Protestant.
Approx. 450 items consisting of published and unpublished literary manuscripts (original drafts and/or copies), letters, news-cuttings, programmes and other theatrical ephemera, photographs, sound recordings, etc.