Local Studies Exhibition: A Selection of Travellers’ Accounts from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries

Many foreign travellers wrote an account of their travels in Ireland in the late eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Travel in the 18th century was largely by horseback and with the improvement of roads, the hiring of a chaise or coach for travel across the county became a more popular mode of travel.  Some of the writers in this exhibition of travel memoirs also toured the highways and byways of the countryside on foot. This exhibition focuses on the books of nine writers which will be displayed in the Local Studies Library over the next few weeks: Arthur Young, Samuel Derrick, Richard Pococke, Asenath Nicholson, Samuel Carter Hall and Anna Maria Hall, John Bernard Trotter, Thomas Crofton Croker, J.N. Brewer and William Bulfin.

Illustration from ‘Ireland: its scenery, character by Mr and Mrs S.C. Hall’
By Samuel Carter Hall and Anna Maria Hall (Volume 1, London: How and Parsons, 1841, page 66)

The topics covered by the authors include reflections on social conditions, local people, agriculture and agrarian concerns, politics, the wild beauty of the landscape and commentary on accommodation and travel conditions of the time. They also contain observations on antiquities and local customs. Some of the material was sourced from our Rare Books Collection. The books on display in the Local Studies Library provide a fascinating document of life in Cork in the late 1700s to the early decades of the twentieth century.  

This exhibition is available to view in the Local Studies Library for the month of June.

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm.