See our Online Digital Archive section for some documents and records, such as cemetery records, that may be viewed and searched online. Most of the records listed below and on our collections page are available for consultation, by prior appointment, in our public research room. Enquiries are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org. We also provide a limited free research service and a copying service.
See also: Notes on sources held elsewhere.
We have cemetery records and gravestone inscriptions mainly for the 1870 to 1950 period from about 20 cemeteries in both Cork City and Cork County, out of an estimated 100 or more. Some records from 5 of these locations are available online in our digital archive. For records that are not yet not online, you may visit the research room to view them or, if you can supply us with the date of death (or at least the month and year), and a possible location, we have a limited free research service available to supply you with a copy or transcript of the burial record: Enquiries to email@example.com.
Postal and trade directories and almanacs contain names and addresses, occupations, and information on businesses, trades, and officials of governmental and public institutions and organisations. The Archives collection of these spans the period 1821 to 1973 and contains several directories not available in Cork City Library. The collection is available to view in our public research room. See the Directories and Almanacs section of our collections pages for a list of these.
From 1838, Ireland was divided up into Poor Law Unions. Within each union was a workhouse where the poor and the destitute could be accommodated. There were 15 poor law unions in Cork City and County. Each union was run by a separate Board of Guardians, that each maintained a separate set of records (see the Boards of Guardians collections page for full lists of all records). For genealogical purposes, the most important documents are often the indoor relief registers and related records, that may record the name, address, occupation, age, sex, condition, date of admission, and date of discharge or death, of those admitted to the workhouse.
We hold extensive indoor relief and related records for the following poor law unions/workhouses in Cork:
Limited numbers of indoor relief records are also available here for the following Poor Law Unions/ Workhouses in Cork;
For the other workhouses in County Cork, it is mainly only administrative records that survive, such as minute books recording the proceedings of meetings of the Board of Guardians for each Union. These will give background information on what was happening in the workhouse/poor law union but they rarely contain personal information apart from some relating to officials and staff of the Union.
Property rate/tax valuation lists, of which the Griffiths/Primary Valuation was the first, record the names of occupiers and immediate lessors of property, extent of property, its valuation, and rates due. Valuation lists remained in use for several years, and changes, eg in ownership, were noted. Cork City lists are arranged by ward/electoral area. The main body of County valuation lists held consist of volumes for the years 1908 to c.1948, with one or more volumes for each electoral division within each rural district. Also held are valuation lists covering the years from c.1888 to 1897 arranged by barony, based on the old Cork baronies as per the earlier Primary Valuation (Griffith’s Valuation) in the 1850's.
(Access restrictions apply to personal material less than 100 years old).
These contain the names and addresses of those registered to vote.
Access: Registers more than 30 years old are open for general research.
Also held is a series of 4 election poll books plus 1 electors register for Youghal, 1830-1837 (see list YTR/PB)
(Note: Cork City Library, Cork County Library and the National Archives of Ireland also hold some Cork electoral registers)
School registers and roll books include personal details of pupils attending and can be of interest as they record dates of birth and registration, parents occupation, and address.
Items older that 100 years open for general research. Regarding access to school records less than 100 years old, contact the Archivist.
(Those marked '(CI)' are/were managed by the Church of Ireland/Anglican community).