Literary Ireland

Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats

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The National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin City, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
T: +353(0)16030277

The National Library of Ireland boasts a large collection of W.B. Yeats manuscripts and other materials donated by the Yeats family. Located in Dublin City, the library is home to the Yeats Collection, which comprises more than 2,000 items.

The National Library of Ireland in Dublin City has the largest collection of Yeats manuscripts in the world. In addition, it holds other fascinating Yeats material generously donated by Mrs George Yeats, wife of the poet, and Michael Yeats, the poet's son.

The Yeats Collection at the library includes more than 2,000 items, stored in 100 archival boxes and occupying 24m of shelf space.

In the exhibition, visitors can trace W.B. Yeats' descent from the conventional Pollexfen and Yeats families, through his unconventional father (a lawyer turned artist) and his increasingly silent and depressed mother, to W.B. Yeats and his brother and sisters, who became the single most significant artistic family in 20th-century Ireland.

Many places now associated with W.B. Yeats, like Ben Bulben, Knocknarea, Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee, provided inspiration for his work, as did his imagining of more remote places like India, Japan and Byzantium, as well as his own childhood experiences. A computer installation helps visitors get a taste of the worlds of his imagination.