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Ballymoney Library
Queen Street
Fax: 028 2766 3589
Ballymoney Library houses the Ballymoney Special Collection which is a collection of approximately 450 items in relation to local studies materials on or about Ballymoney, Northern Ireland and Ireland more generally. It has a special emphasis on Irish literature and includes titles by local authors.

The library also houses the George Shiels Collection wich 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.

The Grocers Handbills Collection is also held at Ballymoney Public Library. It dates from the early to the mid-nineteenth century. Comprising 21 items in total, the handbills to be found in this collection were used by local tradesmen in Ballymoney to promote their businesses both locally and further afield and, as such, give some insight into the commercial/trade history of the area. The extant examples included in this selection were illustrated with woodcuts featuring a range of designs including several illustrations relating to the Crimean War (c. 1854-56). Other examples have sketches depicting places of scenic beauty and historical interest both in Ireland and England plus a few Chinese scenes of general interest relating loosely to tea production.

For information on opening hours and forthcoming events please refer to the library's website.
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