Cork: Merchant City

Cork: Merchant City

Welcome to the Merchant City exhibition

This online exhibition explores the commercial heritage of Cork through its historical archives. Cork shares a proud heritage with other European cities as a place of enterprise and trade, 'merchant princes', markets and elegant shops, craftsmanship and manufacturing, culture and learning. Over 800 years ago, the citizens of Cork were granted extensive liberties to trade. This long history of commercial endeavour is documented in many of the surviving records held at Cork City and County Archives, particularly for the 19th century period. Sources found at the Archives include the original minute books of the Cork Committee of Merchants, the shipping ledgers of Corn Merchants and the City of Cork Steampacket Company, and the day to day records of the Cork Butter Market, as well as personal archives and old photographs of people and places in Cork. Most of these sources are entirely unique, and are preserved and made accessible for research at the new purpose built City and County Archives in Blackpool, on Cork's northside. This web site gives an outline of Cork's commercial history illustrated by images of documents and photographs from collections at the Archives.
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Site Highlights


Mary Ann Clanchy (née Slattery)See the Gallery to view the main images of the site in one go.
Includes images of manuscripts, photographs, advertisements and other documents.

Retail Heritage

Generations of Corkonians have enjoyed Cork's numerous and varied shops and markets. Check out the Retail Heritage section for old photos of the Grand Parade, Cornmarket Street (Coal Quay) and Patrick’s Street, and of the burning of Cork during the War of Independence.

Visit the Cork City & County Archives

Cork City and County Archives Seamus Murphy BuildingSeamus Murphy Building,
Great William O'Brien Street,

Tel: 021- 4505876