Cork City & County Archives

Cork City CouncilCork County CouncilUniversity College Cork
Funded by Cork City Council, Cork County Council & UCC
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News and Events

Notice of Restricted Research Room Opening Hours from 11 October 2016

Owing to circumstances beyond our control, the Archives will be operating restrictions on opening hours from 11 October 2016, until further notice:

Opening Hours by Appointment from 11 Oct 2016

Tuesday 10.00am - 2.00pm

Wednesday 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Thursday 10.00am - 2.00pm

There will also be restrictions on the number of readers who may be admitted at any one time, and the amount of material that may be ordered in a sitting.

In view of the restrictions, it is advisable for readers to request appointments well in advance.

We apologise for any inconvenience that the above may cause and we will be endeavouring to improve the situation when possible.


National Heritage Week and Cork Heritage Open Day 2016 @ Archives

For The Record Image

Archives 1916 Exhibition 'For the Record'-  Saturday 20 August‌, 11am - 4.00pm, and Monday 22 to Friday 25 August 9.00am-5.30pm.

Cork Heritage Open Day Saturday 20 August:  Guided Tours of the Archives at 11.30am, 12.30pm, and 2.00pm

Heritage Week Logo 2016


Cork City and County Archives service is carrying out a number of projects to mark the 1916 Centenary with funding from Cork City Council, and Cork County Council.‌ Download our programme below.

CCCA Logo 1916-2016 Centenary Logo 

Cork City and County Archives 1916-2016 Centenary Programme




'Through War and Rebellion: Cork 1912-18' online schools resource launched

SP1912-18 Poster

 On Thursday 19 November 2015, Cork City and County Archives' new online resource for secondary schools was launched by Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Chris O'Leary and Deputy County Mayor Cllr Frank O'Flynn. Focusing on the key period around 1916, the resource, entitled 'Through War and Rebellion: Cork 1912-18', presents in PDF format copies of unique and original documents from collections preserved by CCCA, with background information, links, and activities, and additional resources for teachers. It was developed by CCCA with research consultancy from historian and teacher Barry Keane and with the vital support of the Heritage Council Grants Programme 2015. Prior to launch it was trialled in three Cork schools - St Angela's College, St Patrick's College, and Scoil Mhuire. Students from each school attended the launch and were awarded certificates in recognition of their contribution to the project. The resource may be accessed on this website.

  HG2015 launch group

 Students of St Angela's, St Patrick's and Scoil Mhuire at the launch, with (l to r) Timmy O Connor, Deputy Archivist; Edel O'Donovan, Deputy Principal, St Angela's; Brian McGee, Cork City and County Archivist; Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Chris O'Leary; Deputy Mayor of County Cork Cllr Frank O'Flynn; Ann Gillen, teacher, St Patrick's; and Barry Keane, historian and teacher


Heritage Council Logo 2014



'Explore Your Archive' Campaign 2015

'Moments In Time'  Exhibition - NOW SHOWING

Moments In Time Exhibition Logo


Curtin Bros Advert

Advert from 1915 Concert at City Hall held by the Irish Volunteers (Conlon collection Ref. PR10/1/6)

An Exhibition by Cork City and County Archives of Local Archives from Cork 100 Years Ago, with items from the outstanding local archives collections preserved by Cork City and County Archives Service.

The exhibition contains unique documents and photos from 1915 relating to the First World War, the rise of nationalism and the Irish Volunteer movement, Cork’s industrial and commercial heritage, local government in the City and County, and items related to daily life at that time.


10am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday until 18 December 2015



New Book On the History of Donoughmore by Gerard O'Rourke

Sweet Donoughmore Book 2015

'Ancient Sweet Donoughmore: Life in an Irish Rural Parish to 1900' chronicles the birth of an Irish rural district in Mid Cork to the beginning of the twentieth century. Along this journey the archaeology and early Christian and medieval periods are explored; leading to a study of the religious and agrarian aspects, the Great Famine and development of education culminating in an examination of the economy and the land question. Through a long period of settlement a story of cultural identity and fortitude is unfolded relating to the people who inherited that landscape.

It is of interest to anyone with a connection to Donoughmore, to those interested in local history, to those thinking of a gift for Christmas or indeed for anyone with an interest in rural Ireland. It will be launched on Friday October 16th by Michael Lenihan, best-selling author of ‘Hidden Cork’, ‘Pure Cork’ and ‘Timeless Cork’, in the Community Centre, Stuake, Donoughmore at 8 p.m. Everyone is very welcome to what should be an eventful evening of nostalgia supplemented over light refreshments. A limited collector’s hardback edition is also available.Further details at www.donoughmore.comor tel: 021/7337368. The book will be for sale in local shops, in neighbouring parishes, Liam Ruiséal , Easons and Waterstones in Cork and from the website.

CULTURE NIGHT 2015 - Friday 18 September 2015

CN2015 glowing logo 

 Explore Cork City and County Archives, your local public archives service. We are open from 5pm to around 8pm, with guided tours of the building at 6:30 and 7:00. Our current exhibition, 'Moments in Time' - featuring local archives from Cork in 1915 - continues, and visitors are welcome to browse documents in the research room and find out more about our services, the collections, and what records we hold which may be of interest to you.



National Heritage Week and Cork Heritage Open Day 2015

Exterior View 2

The Archives had a very successful programme for National Heritage Week (22-29 Aug). The Archives building was also for the first time open for Cork Heritage Open Day on saturday 22 August from 12.00pm to 4.00pm. Our fascinating 'Moments in Time' Exhibition of material from 1915 was on display and there were guided tours of the building at 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.15pm...real interest and great support from the Cork public, as always.

 Heritage Week 2014 Logo


Local History & Heritage Talks for the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival 23 to 27 March 2015.

Lifelong Learning 2010Lifelong Learning Logo 2011


Date/Time: 23 to 27 March 2015 at 2.30pm

Location:  Cork City and County Archives, Seamus Murphy Building, 32 Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool, Cork.


Tom Spalding (Mon 23rd March) ‘Architecture and Buildings in Cork during the Great War Period’.

Gabriel Doherty (Tues 24th March) ‘Cork and the Death of O’Dovovan Rossa in 1915, Newspaper Evidence’

Dr. David Butler (Wed 25th March) ‘Freemasonry in Cork City and County: Its Halls, Artefacts and Heritage’

Liam Ó hUigín (Thur 26th March ) ‘Illustrated History of Cork’

Kieran McCarthy (Fri 27th March) ‘Stories from the Archives, Cork in the 1920s and 1930s’

All welcome. Limited seating, first come first served.


HISTORICAL EXHIBITION 2nd - 20th March 2015

Óglaigh na hÉireann 1913-1918 The Irish Volunteers

Irish Volunteers 1913-1918 Exhibition                       

From the Military Archives, Irish Defence Forces. Also with some original archival documents from the Cork City and County Archives collections.

LOCATION: Cork City and County Archives, Seamus Murphy Building, 32 Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool.

DATES: Wed. 4th March to Friday 20th March 2015, inclusive.

TIMES: 10am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, including lunchtime.

Free Admission

Irish Volunteers 1913-18 Exhibition Case


Ships' Drawings Restored to their Former Glory


 Heritage Council Logo 2014Heritage Week 2014 Logo

Conservator at work on ship drawing (HW2014) 

Cork City and County Archives has taken return delivery of over 70 drawings of ships of the City of Cork Steam Packet Company (later part of the B&I Line), beautifully conserved and repaired by Mucros Conservation Bookbinding. The work, which was made possible by a Heritage Council Grant under the 2014 Heritage Grants Scheme, is a major part of a project to make the records of this company available for research. Damaged volumes are being repaired, and it is intended to prepare scans of the drawings, and other items, for Web access. These include an 1844 letter to the captain of the Sirius, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic nonstop, from Cork to New York, in 1838.

The City of Cork Steam Packet Co Ltd, based at Penrose Quay, is one of the most important companies in Cork’s maritime history. Beginning life as the St George Steam Ship Co in 1821, it operated as the Steam Packet Co from 1871 to 1936, when it joined the B&I Line. The records document an era of change, with two world wars, independence, and rising emigration and tourism.

‘The collection is a key resource for understanding the social and maritime history of Cork in the 19th and 20th centuries’ explains Deputy Archivist Timmy O Connor. ‘The ships’ drawings’ he adds ‘will be of particular interest to many. These could not have been made accessible to the public without conservation. We are very grateful that the Heritage Council, through its Grant Scheme, has recognized the importance of the collection. Their assistance provides for conserving the records and for scanning, which will help make images accessible to researchers all over the world’.

Work will continue until November, when the present Heritage Grant Scheme closes, with the official launch of the collection, and an exhibition, to follow.

Heritage Week 2014 Logo

Heritage Week 2014 Event

Chillingworth & Levie : 20th Century Architecture in Cork   


Chillingworth and Levie Exhibition Logo

Chillingworth and Levie Exhibition - credits

The Chillingworth and Levie archive, which was acquired by the City Archives in 1988 with the assistance of Crawford Art Gallery, is a unique and important asset in understanding the heritage of our city.  The archive, consisting of nearly 4000 architectural drawings, could easily have been lost only for the efforts of the Crawford Gallery and City Archives staff at the time. Curated by Louise Harrington, Architectural Historian, the exhibition gives the people of Cork an exciting opportunity to consider how some of our best-loved buildings were conceived and developed.  The handmade drawings in the archive are a testament to the architect’s creative skills and drafting talent, with a variety of building types from cinemas, department stores, hotels, factories and houses illustrating a wealth of artistic detail.  The exhibition and lecture series is being carried out with funding from the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015, at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

‌Daniel Levie of Aberdeen, and Corkman, Robert Boyle Chillingworth, met at the offices of W. H. Hill & Son in 1903.  They opened their own architectural firm on South Mall in 1911.  Sadly, the partnership was not long-lived as Levie was left to continue on his own when Robert Boyle Chillingworth died of TB at the age of 38.  John E Wilkinson joined as a partner in 1929 and it was William Macilwraith who finally wound up the company in 1994. 

DATE/ TIME : Mon 25 August to Fri 28 August 2014 inclusive; 10am - 5.30pm including lunchtimes

LOCATION: Cork City and County Archives, Great William O'Brien Street, Blackpool, Cork City.


Chillingworth & Levie Drawing 

Cork City and County Archives Launches Online Catalogue of Collections

Cork City and County Archives has created an online catalogue containing detailed descriptions of records and manuscripts in the Archives that are available for public research.

The Archives preserves and makes available one of the largest and most important cultural heritage collections in Cork, with records and documents from local government, individuals and families, clubs and societies, trade unions, landed estates, solicitors, businesses, institutions, hospitals, and religious organisations. These records are the raw material for remembering, writing and understanding the History of Cork and its people.

The online catalogue contains information and metadata on the content, structure, background, and context of each collection or item.

Containing advanced searching technology and with extensive indexes to persons, places, institutions, events, time periods, and subjects, the catalogue is a powerful finding aid for those undertaking historical or genealogical research, enabling researchers to identify collections and individual documents containing relevant information.

Cork Archives Online Catalogue Launch

The online catalogue is the culmination of 10 years of work by archivists and other staff who descriptively listed almost 200 individual archival collections to meet the International ‘ISADG’ Standard. The collections contain of tens of thousands of documents.  Older printed catalogues and lists were also converted over to the new catalogue.

The documents listed in the catalogue are mainly accessed in the Reading Room of the Seamus Murphy Building, Great William O’Brien Street.

Online Catalogue Launch 29 May 2014 

Linking in with the catalogue is an online archive of digitised documents that may be viewed over the internet. The online archive contains for example, St.Joseph’s Cemetery records from 1877 to 1917, and lists of the members of the Irish Volunteers from 1913-1914.

The online catalogue was funded by Cork City Council under its Information Systems E-Government Programme, which allowed the purchase and installation of the Adlib online internet server module.

While the catalogue contains a very substantial amount of information, it remains a work in progress, and years of work remain to make everything in the Archives fully accessible.  

The catalogue is a major step forward in making records and archives from Cork more accessible and visible, and it will particularly benefit those undertaking local history and family history research, and the Diaspora seeking their Irish heritage.

Local Government has a statutory function to properly manage and preserve local records and archives, and to make local archives available for public inspection. Established and equally funded by Cork City Council, UCC and Cork County Council, the Cork City and County Archives service (formerly Cork Archives Institute), was established in 1971. In 2006 the service moved to the new purpose built Seamus Murphy building in Blackpool.

Find the new online catalogue from the Cork City and County Archives web site or on