George Shiels Collection

The George Shiels Collection consists of the private library of local playwright George Shiels (1881-1949). Shiels was born near Ballymoney, County Antrim. He emigrated to Canada to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway, but was injured in 1913 and disabled for life in an accident. He returned to Northern Ireland and set up business with his brother as a shipping agent and started to write. His first play - Away from the Moss, was performed by the Ulster Literary Theatre in 1918. Many of his plays, starting with Bedmates in 1921, were performed by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin where he was very popular with Dublin audiences. His plays were also performed at Belfast's Group Theatre. George Shiels plays are often described as "kitchen dramas" and are very popular with amateur theatre groups. Despite the limited canvas with which Shiels worked it is apparent from his work that he was keen commentator on the changing times in which he lived. This collection also includes original typescripts of many of Shiels’ plays and some personal belongings such as Christmas Cards, family albums and letters.


This is the private library of George Shiels and reflects the personal interests of the man. Includes multiple copies of Shiels' plays. It will be of interest to students of George Shiels and his work and local residents.

Physical characteristics

The George Shiels Collection comprises 93 titles.

Description or Catalogue

The George Shiels Collection is catalogued and available online on the Libraries NI Catalogue.


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Added by Libraries NI | Last updated on: 26 June 2018