Location: 3rd floor
The Celtic Collection, also known as the Fr. Charles Brewer Celtic Collection, is located on the 3rd floor of the library, in the older section, at the far end of the Hall of the Clans (see maps).
View the Celtic Collection Hours.
Highlights of the Celtic Collection
- ~ 10,000 items
- Monographs, serials, pamphlets, ephemera, manuscripts, recorded material, newspaper clippings
- ~ 30 current periodical subscriptions
- Local history materials, including letters, manuscripts, genealogy, artifacts, oral history
- Scottish Gaelic language resources
- Celtic literature, poetry, prose anthologies, folklore, music, instructional and lexicographical material
- 18th century historical and statistical works pertaining to the Jacobite period in Scottish history
- Books published in Scottish Gaelic prior to 1900
- Ais-eiridh na Sean Chanoin Albannaich, Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair, 1751, 1st ed.
- MacTalla, 1892-1904, Johnathan MacKinnon
- Companach an Oganaich, Alastair McGillevra, 1836
- William O'Donnell's translation of the Bible into Irish, with a Scottish Gaelic Glossary, 1690
History of the Celtic Collection
The Celtic Collection was established in 1965 when the Angus L. Macdonald Library opened. This collection represents the heritage and culture of the founders of the university and a large portion of attending scholars as well. Visionary leaders, among them, Dr. Patrick Nicholson, University Physics Professor as well as President, understood that precious material was being lost and steps were taken to preserve and promote the literature, folklore, history, language, and music and of the Celtic peoples, specifically, the Scottish Gael. From the opening program, these words express the intention that the collection "shall include the literary output of the Scottish, Irish, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton peoples." The collection began with the personal libraries of many of the Gaelic speaking Highland Scot clergy and administration of the university.
From this beginning, it has grown into what is now considered a fine collection, that has been used extensively by scholars for many years. It is the largest of its kind in Canada, and one of the most significant in North America. Many people contributed their resources, energy and commitment to make this happen. Several important benefactors chose to entrust their precious possessions to our library. Fundraising, including successful grant proposals as well as ongoing library budgetary support, provided for further important acquisitions. This last point is vital as the collection supports the ongoing research needs of the faculty and students of the Celtic Studies Department. Maintaining a current, vibrant collection, encompassing ongoing scholarship in the field while preserving and protecting the rare and valuable older items sums up our mandate. The Celtic Department collaborates with us in contributing materials from its acquisitions budget as well. Sr. M. Connelly was the University Librarian when the facility was planned and opened. It is named for Fr. Charles Gordon Brewer who was the University Librarian from 1966-1991, as a tribute to his unwavering support.
As each year passes more entries are added to the collection, giving modern credence to the old Gaelic proverb "Nithear carn mor de chlachan beaga". (A large cairn can be built from small stones.)
- Dr. P.J. Nicholson
- John Lorne Campbell
- Margaret Fay Shaw Campbell
- Mr. Hugh MacPhee
- Dr. Donald MacLean Sinclair
- Ms. Emelyn MacKenzie
- Dr. John MacKechnie
- Mgsr. Ewen MacDonald
- Dr. James Cameron
Past Curators of the Collection:
- Sr. Jane MacKenzie
- Maureen Williams
View the Celtic Collection brochure [.pdf]
Stòras nan Gàidheal - Gaelic Heritage Workshop for Community Education Resource Development Report
For futher information please contact:
Father Charles Brewer Celtic Collection
Angus L. Macdonald Library
St. Francis Xavier University
Box 5000, Antigonish NS
Phone: (902) 867-5328 or 2267