A rare collection of James Joyce poems will be put on display at NUI Galway on this year's Culture Night, 21 September.

A special edition of only 25 copies of the collection, 'Pomes Penyeach', was published in Paris in 1932.

Joyce sent one copy to the university in Galway, the hometown of his wife and muse, Nora Barnacle.

The entire edition is in Joyce’s own handwriting and printed on rare Japanese vellum, bound in green silk with gilt lettering.

Joyce wrote: "Initial letters designed and illuminated by Lucia Joyce", on the title page.

On the tailpiece he added: "This edition limited to 25 copies numbered 1-25 and signed by James Joyce."

The edition contains 13 poems written between 1904 and 1924 in Dublin, Trieste, Zurich and Paris.

A unique feature is that the initial letter in each poem is elaborately illustrated by Joyce's only daughter, Lucia.

Joyce described the edition as "a unique volume" and said that the mould used to make it had been destroyed. He described the initial letters drawn by Lucia as "extremely beautiful".

NUIG is also putting on display a handwritten letter Joyce sent from Paris to the university librarian, Dr John Howley.

In it he wrote that copies of the collection were already in the national libraries in Paris and London and he sent one to Galway "because the designer of the lettrines is a grand-daughter of your city and the writer of these verses bears one of its tribal names".

One of the poems in the collection, 'She Weeps Over Rahoon', refers to a Galway city cemetery where Nora Barnacle is imagined mourning a teenage love of hers who died young.

The material will be on display in the Special Collections room of the James Hardiman Library at NUIG.

On the same night, NUIG is screening 'The Dead', John Huston’s 1987 film adaptation of the famous James Joyce short story of the same name, which also draws heavily on Nora Barnacle’s memories of a lost Galway lover.

The NUIG Joyce material is available for consultation by researchers in the James Hardiman Library at any time.