Friday 18 August 2017

Cork County Libraries launches local studies site

The Local Studies Department of Cork County Libraries has launched a new online presence in which to house its growing collection of digital resources.

List of Bandonbridge Catholic electors 1884
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This new site – – will be officially launched next week in Bandon Library (see below for details). By pure coincidence, a good quantity of the new resources originate from that town, which is known as the Gateway to West Cork.

Since it is also very much the home territory of my paternal ancestors, I've spent a couple of happy hours rooting around the new site and can confirm it has some real goodies. How about lists of Electors from 1884? An 1879 voting poll ledger for the Town Improvement Act, showing who voted for, and who voted against? Or the Bandon Town Council Minute Books from 1838 to 2004?

Moving further afield in the county, there is a collection of 19th-century town maps of Mallow, Passage West, Queenstown (Cobh) and Youghal; these maps are at a scale of ten feet to one mile, showing in great detail the layout of the town in the second half of the 1870s. There are also several collections of photographs and postcards, a number of historical town guides, some rebel pamplets from the Revolutionary Era, two collections to delight railway enthusiasts, and one for those with an interest or connection to the theatre.

In addition, thirteen 'exhibitions' are available for viewing. These cover various aspects of County Cork history and were created by the Local Studies Library team to highlight the collections and resources on offer in the Local Studies library. Topics have varied widely, and include Ford – the Cork Connection; The Battle of the Somme – the Irish Connection; Cork County Hall – from inception to completion; and Seán O'Ríordáin (1916-1977).

I recommend all researchers dip in to explore this new site. There are more than 2,200 items in this digital library, and there will be more to come, as financial and staff resources allow.

The official launch of the new local history site will take place on Tuesday 22 August at 7pm in Bandon Library, on the corner of Market Street and South Main Street. After the formalities, Paddy O'Sullivan will present a talk on Thomas Adderley's golden years of flax and linen manufacture in West Cork. Everyone is welcome, but you need to book by telephone to (0)23 884 4830 or by email to