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Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus collection

Identifier: Mss 0083

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials relating to the Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus book collection. These materials have been separated from the book collection due to their size, format, and fragility, and comprise newspapers, small pamphlets, and documents relating to Irish history and literature. Small pieces of ephemera found inside MacManus collection books have been compiled into a scrapbook that identifies which book each piece was removed from.


  • Creation: 1914-1952

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus (1888-1951) was an Irish literary figure and noted book collector. He was born in 1888 at Carrick-on-Shannon, County Lietrim, Ireland. He began his education at the Presentation school in Carrick-on-Shannon and Farnham College, Surrey, and later went on to study at the University of London.

After University, he worked as a teacher in Blackburn, Lancashire, then as a journalist on Fleet Street in London. He joined the Fabian Society, a British socialist organization that seeks to establish a democratic socialist state through gradual reform rather than revolution. During this time, he contributed many articles to Irish newspapers and journals. In 1916 MacManus returned to Ireland as a freelance journalist. He became involved in the independence movement, writing many articles expressing his nationalist beliefs. In 1924 he published his first book, A Jackdaw in Dublin, which parodied many contemporary Irish writers. He went on to publish many more books of poems, parodies, and satirical sketches, as well as a controversial biography of Eamon de Valera.

He began writing for the Irish Press in 1931 and was appointed the newspaper’s first literary editor in 1935. He continued to work for the Irish Press until his death in 1951, while also writing books and contributing to a number of other Irish publications. He was a dedicated collector of rare books, pamphlets, and broadsides representing Irish history and culture. The collection consists of over 5,000 pieces ranging from 15th century imprints to modern works of Irish scholars, poets, and novelists. The collection has been expanded on an ongoing basis since it was acquired by Seton Hall University in 1952.


Carmel Doyle, Lawrence William White. "MacManus, Michael Joseph (M. J.)". Dictionary of Irish Biography. (ed.) James McGuire, James Quinn. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2009. (;jsessionid=AED5822651ADB6C1EC38FF8095358935?articleId=a5266#)

Fehlig, Teresa A. Eighteenth Century Imprints in the MacManus Collection, McLaughlin Library, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. New Providence, N.J, 1976. Print.

MacManus, M J, and Francis MacManus. Adventures of an Irish Bookman: A Selection from the Writings of M.j. Macmanus. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1952. Print.


3 boxes

Language of Materials



This collection consists of materials separated from the Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus Irish rare book collection due to their size, format, and fragility. M.J. MacManus was a noted Irish literary figure and book collector, whose extensive collection documents Irish history and culture.

Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was purchased from Rosaleen MacManus in 1952.

Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus collection
Brianna LoSardo
2018 October 23
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US