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Joseph McGarrity Collection

Identifier: XM

Scope and Contents

The McGarrity Collection consists of around 3,000 monographs focusing on Irish history, literature, folklore, description and travel, music, and Irish - American history. Among the many pamphlets in the collection are historical ones relating to the Eighteenth Century, particular to the 1798 Rebellion and the Act of Union. The collection also contains runs of Irish and Irish - American journals such as Hibernian Magazine, Walker's Hibernian Magazine, Dublin University Magazine, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy and many others. Among the newspapers is a complete run of The Irish Press (Philadelphia: 1918-1922), which for some time was owned and edited by Joseph McGarrity.


  • Creation: 1736-1986


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact Distinctive Collections staff.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph McGarrity was born on March 4, 1874 in Carrickmore, County Tyrone, Ireland. He came to the United States at the age of sixteen and settled with relatives in Philadelphia. He engaged in various business enterprises in Philadelphia as well as in New York and Atlantic City and spent part of 1926 in Bogota, Columbia on business.

Overriding Joseph McGarrity's many interests was the cause of Ireland as a country free and independent of British control. He became a leader of the Philadelphia district of Clan-na-Gael and was a generous supporter of numerous organizations and individual working for Irish liberty. McGarrity counted among his close friends Sean MacDermott, John McBride, Michael Collins, Harry Boland, Sean T. O'Kelly, Sean Russell, as well as many others. Padraig Pearse and Roger Casement stayed at his home while visiting Philadelphia. When Eamon De Valera came to America to raise funds for an Irish Republican government bond issue, he was in constant touch with Joseph McGarrity, whom he was considered one of his most active and effective supporters.

Mr. McGarrity's writings reflect this energy in the form of correspondence, diaries, a memoir, and an account of a business related venture. He was also a man of poetry. His poems reflect his love for his family, while other poems show his understanding of human nature in the context of everyday life. Many of his poems and ballads catch the flavor of the revolutionary spirit in Ireland.

Joseph McGarrity died on August 5, 1940 in Philadelphia.


7.5 Linear feet (15 manuscript boxes, 434 microfilm reels)


The McGarrity Collection consists of materials related to Irish history, literature, folklore, description and travel, music, and Irish - American history.


The collection is arranged by acquired additions.

Physical Location

Special Collections

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to Villanova University in 1940 by Joseph McGarrity.

Second addition is a donation made by the heirs of Mary McGarrity Shore (1912-2000), daughter of Joseph McGarrity, to Falvey Memorial Library, Special Collections, in 2000.

Related Materials

McGarrity collection books are not included in this finding aid. See Also: Box 3, Folder 10, Correspondence, VUA-18 Falvey Memorial Library records. Villanova University Archives, Villanova University.

Guide to Joseph McGarrity Collection
Julia Canonica and Bente Polites. EAD prepared by Beaudry Allen.
April 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second addition prepared by Julia Canonica and Bente Polites, July 2001.

Revision Statements

  • 2020 April: Convert to EAD and edited.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Falvey Library
800 E Lancaster Ave
Villanova PA