Gibson-Massie Collection

Andrew Gibson was a Scottish businessman and a highly regarded scholar and bibliophile. He had originally come to Belfast to act as agent for the ship owner G. & J. Burns Ltd. Gibson is chiefly remembered today as a bibliophile and an expert on poetry. He had an expansive library containing collections by Allan Ramsay, Robert Burns, Thomas Moore and others.

The Gibson-Massie Collection at QUB Special Collections contains many editions of the works of Allan Ramsay (1684-1758). There are also around 200 chap books, mostly from Scotland and Ireland. Remnants of Gibson's Burns collection are  included along with other monograph titles (mostly Scottish or relating to Scotland).


Description or Catalogue
Custodial History

Andrew Gibson assembled this collection.

Most of Gibson's Robert Burns collection is held in the Burns & Burnsiana Collection at the Linen Hall Library. It was acquired by the Linen Hall Library in 1901 through public subscription. 

In 1949, P.D. Massie discovered other books and manuscripts when he purchased Gibson's house in Belfast. The house had lain derelict since Gibson's death in 1931. Massie offered Queen’s University Belfast the opportunity to purchase the collection. The Library at Queen’s University Belfast agreed and purchased the collection in May 1960.

The Thomas Moore material that came from that purchase is held in the Moore Collection at Special Collections Queen's University Belfast. The remainder of the book and manuscript collection is held in Gibson-Massie Collection MS 37. 



A number of the titles from Gibson’s collection of Allan Ramsay are available online at QUB Digital Special Collections and Archives.

Accrual Method
Associated Collection
Added by Bronagh McCrudden | Last updated on: 15 December 2020