Overview of Collections


Cork has a long and proud history which is reflected in its surviving local archives. We began acquiring archives from Cork city and county in 1972 and we now preserve one of Cork's largest and most important cultural heritage assets, and one of the largest and richest sets of local archives in Ireland, spanning over 400 years, and more, of history.

It is important to note that the CCCA does not create the archive collections held. Each archive collection or 'fonds' held here is a unique set of records generated by an organisation or person in the course of their activities, selected for preservation and deposited in the CCCA. Each collection must be preserved as a unit and each is given a unique reference number. A collection may consist of just 1 document, or thousands of documents. Several hundred thousand items are preserved here, residing in over 1,300 archives/fonds/collections. An item can be as small as, for example, a single letter or photograph, or it can be as large as a thick administrative file or a bound volume, containing hundreds of pages, or a large photographic album.

Over 800 of these collections are available for research, mainly in hard copy by appointment in our Research Room. Several hundred items, selected from various collections, are also available to view online  in our Online Digital Collections. For full details of our collections see the Guide and search our online catalogue. Please note that over 200 of the entries in the online catalogue are at collection level only, with the lists of the items in these collections available separately in the research room or by email on request.


Most of our collections date within the period 1600 - 1990. The 1800s and 1900s are particularly well documented.

There are a small number of early records such as Medieval and Early Modern Charters for Youghal and some records for Kinsale. 


Our collections document a vast number of organisations, people, events, subjects, and time periods. Our holdings are particularly strong in the following areas:

  • 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century
  • Social History 1800s - 1900s
  • Local government 1600s - 1900s
  • Irish politics and nationalism 1800s - 1900s
  • Irish revolutionary period 1912-1923
  • Business records 1700s - 1900s
  • Solicitors/landed estate records 1600s - 1900s
  • Personal papers 1700s - 1900s
  • Health and hospital records 1870s - 1900s
  • Photographs 1900s

Finding and Accessing Collections

Use our detailed finding aids to locate material of relevance to your research, including our online catalogue, guide and descriptive lists for each individual collection. Descriptive lists are available on request by email. Queries are welcome.

Our collections are mainly in hardcopy format and may be accessed by appointment in our Research Room. Also, several hundred records have been digitised and are available online

Cork City Statute Staple Deed 22 September 1618. Recognizance of a debt of 300 Pounds signed by 'David Tyrrye Fitzstephen Maior of the Staple', Cormack O'Callaghan Cartie and others. In Latin on parchment (animal skin). From the Vanderplas Cork Deeds collection.