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

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

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Heritage Week 2014 Event

Chillingworth & Levie : 20th Century Architecture in Cork   


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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 


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.