Seamus Heaney Homeplace
Seamus Heaney Homeplace

Seamus Heaney HomePlace Updated Library

The Seamus Heaney Homeplace located in Bellaghy, Co. Derry, and a shrine to the late poet Seamus Heaney has unveiled a brand-new digital archive and book collection that has completely revamped its existing library.

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a desk, screen and display Seamus Heaney Homeplace
Photo: Brian Morrison, Tourism Ireland.

In addition to the collection of books that were loaned and donated to the arts and literary center by the Heaney family, the newly refurbished library now contains a handpicked selection of more than 800 titles.

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They include books by friends and contemporaries of the famous poet, as well as some of his own favorites from authors Spike Mulligan and Bob Dylan.
A portrait of the late Seamus Heaney inside the museum dedicated to his life and work. Photo: Brian Morrison for Tourism Ireland.

The newly refurbished library also includes a new Seamus Heaney digital archive that will expose listeners to radio and television broadcasts that Heaney presented or those he was featured in.

One of the audio recordings came from Maria Halpin, a former student of Heaney’s at Carysfort College, where he was a lecturer in the late 1970s.

Halpin was the founder and editor of the college magazine, “Hercules,” and interviewed the poet for an article, which she kept on cassette tape for more than 40 years.

a large building Seamus Heaney Homeplace
Photo: Arthur Ward, Tourism Ireland.

When you visit, you’ll find that this new space is the perfect place to while away an afternoon, with its comfortable seating and individual writing desks for browsing and reading.

While you’re there, be sure to access the selection of previous online performances that were staged by the HomePlace during the pandemic.

They include the “Keeping Going” series and a special event titled “A Nobel Celebration: More Spacewalk than Stepping Stone,” which marked the 25th anniversary of Heaney’s receipt of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Read Seamus Heaney's Open Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996

A Reflection of Heaney’s Writings About Home

Heaney drew much of his inspiration from the place where he grew up.

He often wrote about the ordinary things in life, especially his own experiences of rural Ireland.

His writings also dealt with the Northern Ireland of his day and the region’s civil unrest.

The center is housed in a building transformed from an old, heavily fortified RUC police station.

Over two floors, visitors will find many of Heaney’s books and personal belongings, in addition to a recreation of the attic study from his house in Dublin.

artifacts on display Seamus Heaney Homeplace
Artifacts at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace visitor center that relate to the famous writer. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

There are also video recordings from friends, neighbors, and cultural leaders, and the voice of the poet himself reading his own work.

President Joe Biden is a huge fan of Heaney’s work and has quoted him several times throughout his political career.

Read More: 8 Irish Writer Attractions to Explore

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