The City of Cork Steam Packet Co Ltd archive in Cork City and County Archives is one of the largest and most important collections held, recording the history of the leading company in trade and passenger traffic from Cork and the South of Ireland to Britain and elsewhere for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. The development of steam and later sailing technologies, changes in Company ownership and operations, the impact of the First World War, the rise of tourism in the 1930s, and of emigration to Britain (both facilitated by the famous vessel, the Innisfallen), and further changes from the 1940-60s, when B&I Line was taken into State ownership, are all well documented.
In 2014 a grant from the Heritage Council permitted essential cleaning and professional conservation of many parts of the collection to be carried out, and the collection was fully listed and processed by one of our Archivists, making it possible for the entire collection to become fully publicly accessible for the first time.
Heritage Council grant funding also allowed parts of the collection to be digitised for online use, the fruits of which are presented in this section. These include a letterbook to ships' captains from the pioneering age of steam navigation, and a large selection from Company drawings and blueprints of vessels, including the Innisfallen, the Inniscarra, the Bandon, and many others.
The letterbook records letters issued to captains in the period when the company was known as the City of Cork Steam Ship Company (1843-1872), during which time its vessels included the Sirius, the Nimrod, the Prussian Adler, and many others
The above is a series containing blueprints and other plans of Company vessels, 1888-1951. These provide a wealth of detail on the variety and specification of vessels used by the Company over many years.