Cork City & County Archives

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News and Events

2009 News

PCAT Exhibition at County Hall October-November 2009

On 12 October 2009, County Mayor Cllr. Derry Canty and County Manager Martin Riordan officially launched the display of our PCAT historical exhibition at County Hall for October and November. The Exhibition is based on a joint outreach project (‘Preserving Cork’s Archives Together’ or PCAT) carried out by the Cork Archives and the County Library with the support of the Cork County Council Heritage Plan and the Heritage Council.

PCAT Display County Hall

Donation of the Colthurst Estate and Family Papers

We are pleased to announce the donation to the Archives of the Colthurst family and estate papers by Sir Charles Colthurst of Blarney Castle. The papers are a substantial collection of documents relating to the Colthurst family and estate, and their relatives/ancestors such as the Morrises of Dunkettle, the Jefferyes of Blarney, and the Oliver family of Little Island. 

Colthurst Rental 1895

The Colthursts arrived in Ireland in the mid 17th century where they settled at Ardrum near Blarney. From the time of the first baronet Sir John Conway Colthurst, many family members were prominent in the life of Cork over many generations, for example, the 4th Baronet, Nicholas Conway Colthurst, was an MP for Cork City in 1812 and 1829 and supported Daniel O’Connell’s emancipation campaign.   His son Sir George married Louisa Jane Jefferies of Blarney Castle. (Sir James Jefferyes, who was a career soldier, bought Blarney castle in about 1703 and his grandson James St.John Jefferies laid out the green and houses in Blarney village). In 1874 Sir George and his wife moved into the new Blarney House which of course is still lived in today by Sir Charles, who is the 10th baronet.

A reception was held at the Seamus Murphy Building on 12 November 09 to mark the official donation of the Colthurst Papers. The Lord Mayor Cllr. Dara Murphy and the Deputy County Mayor Cllr Pat Burton were in attendance and the guest speaker was Emeritus Professor John A.Murphy of UCC. Tribute was paid by all speakers to both Sir Charles for donating the papers, and to Margaret Lantry who undertook work in gathering the collection prior to its transfer to the Archives.

The donation consists of 40 boxes of material of nearly 2500 items, and it compliments an existing collection of 20 boxes of Colthurst legal documents deposited in the Archives many years ago.

The papers include a good deal of correspondence mainly relating to estate management matters, a large set of deeds and legal documents including items from the 16th and 17th century, family photographs, including a number of early glass plate photos, financial records such as rental ledgers, a set of architectural sketches and drawings relating to the design of Blarney House in the 1870’s, plus family ephemera, including for example, a medallion presented to Lady Colthurst as an organiser of the 1883 Cork Industrial Exhibition.

Colthurst Family Photo 1912

The material will be of great interest to historians and other researchers particularly local historians of the Blarney area. The Archives looks forward to properly preserving the papers and making them available to researchers

Colthurst Donation
Ms. Margaret Lantry, Prof. John A. Murphy and Sir Charles Colthurst Bart. at the Colthurst Papers reception, 12 November 2009

Blarney Castle web site:

M.S.C. Centenary Exhibition @ Archives, 5 October - 16 October

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have created a public exhibition to mark their 100 years in Cork (1909-2009). The exhibition, which is travelling around Cork City and County, will be on display at the Archives Seamus Murphy Building for 2 weeks in October. The exhibition consists of photographs and text celebrating the fascinating history of the Order both in Ireland and abroad, including their missionary work in deprived countries.

All Welcome!    (Open: 10am to 5pm  Monday - Friday, Free Admission)

'Celebrating Cork's Past', Exhibition

With the support of Cork City Council, various local history groups in Cork are planning a one day exhibition at City Hall, on 20 October '09, show-casing the history and heritage of the city and county.

It is hoped that the exhibition will also include input from a number of institutions, including Cork City and County Archives, Cork City Library, and U.C.C.

Celebrating Cork's Past Exhibition Meeting

Meeting at Cork Archives of the steering committee for the exhibition, including Cllr. Brian Birmingham and Cllr. Kieran McCarthy with representatives of various local history societies.

Exhibition Location:  Cork City Hall, 20 October 2009
Times: 11am to 7pm
Admission: Free

Set up times: 5pm to 7.30pm Monday 19th Oct. and 8am - 10.45pm Tuesday 20th Oct.

Download:   Celebrating Cork's Past Poster 2009 PDF

Celebrating Cork's Past 2009 Poster

Official Donation of OPATSI (Cork Branch) Archive 16 September 2009

At a reception at the Archives, the Lord Mayor Cllr. Dara Murphy and Mayor of County Cork Cllr. Derry Canty officially received the donation of the Operative Plasterers and Allied Trades Society of Ireland Cork Branch archive from Mr. Billy Curtin Branch Secretary and Mr. John Forde Branch Chairperson. The Lord Mayor, County Mayor and Archivist paid tribute to union members for ensuring that the archive has found a proper home.

The records include minutes of meetings of the union committee, accounts of membership, correspondence, and photographs. The records are a valuable source of information for those studying the history of Cork trades and an invaluable addition to the City and County Archives holdings of trade union records. 

Plasterers Union

‘Preserving Cork’s Archives Together’  Travelling Historical Exhibition Opened by Cork City and County Archives

 On 20 Aug 2009, County Mayor Cllr. Derry Canty officially launched a new historical exhibition by the Cork Archives that will be travelling around Cork over the next few months.

The Exhibition is based on a joint outreach project (‘Preserving Cork’s Archives Together’ or PCAT) carried out by the Cork Archives and the County Library with the support of the Cork County Council  Heritage Plan and the Heritage Council of Ireland.

In 2008  a series of ‘Archives Open Days’ were held around the county at Midleton, Bantry, Bandon and Mallow libraries by Brian McGee of the Cork Archives and Richard Forrest of the County Library. On these days talks were held about the collection at the Cork Archives and also the County Library’s reference collection, and consultation was provided on how to care for photographs and other types of archives.

Archival documents and photographs loaned to the Archives by the public on foot of the PCAT project form a major part of the Exhibition, alongside interesting items from other collections at the Archives.

This exhibition celebrates and promotes our local history and archival heritage and provides guidance for people on improving archives awareness and preservation of archives and other collections in their local area.

Launch of the Exhibition (L-R) Archivist Brian McGee, County Librarian Ruth Flanagan, Mayor of County Cork Cllr. Derry Canty, County Heritage Officer Sharon Casey, Executive Librarian Richard Forrest.

Subjects and types of archives in the exhibition include  

  • Personal and family material
  • Business records
  • Sport and Leisure material
  • Cork Politics and War of Independence
  •  Local Government in Cork
  •  Material donated by the public
  •  About the work of the Cork City & County Archives
  •  About the County Library reference collection

The exhibition is due to run for Heritage Week and for 1 month at the Cork Archives in Blackpool, and it will then be available at Cork County Hall in October, before travelling around County Cork including Mallow, Midleton, Bantry and Bandon, and other County towns over the next 6 to 12 months.


Cork City and County Archives, Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool,  Cork

Exhibition Opening Hours at Archives:

Monday to Saturday 24 - 29 August 2009,  10am – 5pm (Heritage Week) 

And following:

(Monday to Friday),  September 1 – October 1, 2009, 10am - 5pm

Cork County Hall:

October 12 – October 30

Other Locations:

From November

Visit of Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress recently paid a visit to the Seamus Murphy Building where they met Archives staff and viewed some of the City's most important documents and archives.

Lord Mayors Visit to Archives

Beamish and Crawford business archive donated to Cork City and County Archives

29 May 2009

The Beamish and Crawford business records archive has been donated to the Cork City and County Archives by Heineken Ireland following the closure of the Beamish Brewery at South Main Street.

The archive consists of the older business records and documents that were generated and used by the Beamish and Crawford brewery company over the course of 217 years of brewing in Cork. A large amount of financial records have survived the centuries, mainly consisting of large hand written leather-bound volumes, which were carefully maintained by generations of office clerks. Also found in the archive are several sets of important legal documents concerning partnership agreements and property, dating as far back as the late 1700’s when the Beamish company started up. Other records include correspondence, rental ledgers, beer sales accounts, brewing operations files, and wages books. There is also a remarkable set of over 300 architectural plans and drawings that document the brewery’s buildings such as the Lee Maltings, and also including plans of various ‘tied houses’, which were public houses owned or leased by Beamish around Cork city and county and farther afield.

The documents in the Beamish archive are a totally unique record of the day to day running of the brewery, and are a major resource for researchers studying the Irish brewing industry, public houses, and Cork’s rich legacy of trade and commerce. It is a great contribution to our local heritage that the Beamish archive was both kept intact, and that it was donated to the Cork City and County Archives, which will ensure its future preservation and access for research and public enjoyment.


City and County Archivist

Beamish last round up
The last round up’. Some documents from the Beamish & Crawford archive on the board table at the brewery boardroom, South Main Street, following the official handover of the archive by Heineken Ireland to the Cork City and County Archives.

Cork City and County Archives and Cork Lifelong Learning Festival

Family History and Genealogy Talk and Information Evening on Tuesday 31st March 2009 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Venue : Cork City and County Archives, Seamus Murphy Building, Great William O'Brien Street, Blackpool, Cork.

Rosaleen Underwood APGI presented the talk and afterwards provided one to one family history advice. Archivists provided information on records and research at Cork City and County Archives. All were welcome. This event was free and was part of the 6th Lifelong Learning Festival.

Exhibition at Cork City and County Archives Marks 110 years of Representative Local Elections

Launch of Local Elections Exhibition

Launch of Local Elections Exhibition, Cork City and County Archives, 14 January 2009, (L-R) Brian McGee, City and County Archivist, Cllr. Jim Corr, Lord Mayor Cllr. Brian Birmingham, Cllr. Lorraine Kingston, Mayor of County Cork Cllr. Noel Harrington and Cllr. Kenneth O’Flynn.

On Wednesday, 14th January 2009 at 2.30 p.m. the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Brian Bermingham and County Mayor Cllr. Noel Harrington, officially opened an exhibition at Cork City and County Archives, Blackpool, marking 110 years of Local Elections.

Election Exhibits Poster 1

2009 marks the 110th anniversary of the first representative local elections which were held in April 1899. The Local Authority Archivists’ Group, with the support of the Heritage Council, has created an exhibition to mark the election centenary which is travelling to all the counties and cities in Ireland in the run-up to the Local Elections in Summer 2009.

The passing into law of the Local Government Act, 1898 established the County Councils and reformed the City Councils and gave many people in Ireland the right to vote for the first time. This right gave people a say in local government which meant that they were able to influence the development of their communities and their country. It can be argued that the road to national independence in 1922 was greatly supplemented through the gains made in local elections by nationalist parties.

The exhibition gives an outline of some of the major historical themes and events surrounding local elections since the first elections in 1899 including the Local Government Act 1898 and the franchise,  the first Local Government elections 1899, the result of the first election and its consequences; famous elections, election campaigns, and legislative changes over the years.

The exhibition is on display at Cork City and County Archives, Blackpool, for the month of January and it is supplemented with a display of election documents from the main Cork City and County Archive collection.

Exhibition Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. including lunchtime .

Local Elections Poster 2