About the Local Studies Service

Our definition of local studies encompasses all aspects of life in County Cork, past and present. Our collection of books, journals, newspapers and other resources reflects that broad definition.

How Can We Help You?

We welcome queries from all members of the public. If you would like to find out more information about your local townland, village, or town, or if you have a general enquiry about local history, please contact us with your question. We particularly welcome any primary, post-primary and third level students who are researching a project or assignment on their local area.

In addition, we can also provide guidance on family history matters and are available to answer any queries you may have by phone or email.  

If you are looking for information from newspaper articles, we also have an extensive collection of newspapers in microfilm and bound format and access for library patrons to the digital newspaper database Irish Newspaper Archives. We also have back issues of local Cork newspapers such as The Avondhu, Vale Star, The Corkman and The Carrigdhoun.

Our Facilities

Our facilities include study spaces, Wifi, PCs with scanner facilities for library members, microfilm machines and photocopying facilities.

We stock an extensive range of books on numerous topics in our Cork and Irish Collections, as well as an extensive range of historical journals, periodicals and newspapers.

We can also assist you with your genealogy and family history queries. All materials are for consultation in the library and are not for general lending. Copyright rules apply.

Local Studies Digital Archive

Our Local Studies Digital Archive is a large repository that explores the fascinating history and heritage of the county. The digital archive consists of items such as photographs, postcards, maps, pamphlets and notebooks.

Our vision is to bring resources relating to the history of Cork to a wide audience, by making these resources easily accessible online.  The digital archive is constantly growing and expanding as new material is digitised.

The topics covered in our archive are quite varied, some subject areas include Cork’s railway history, photographs of Youghal and Bandon, the history of castles across the county, the War of Independence, nineteenth century estate maps and the Irish Tourist Association Topographical and General Survey files from the 1940s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to book in advance?

You do not need to book a research space to use the Local Studies Library material. We do ask that you pre-book a microfilm reader or Library PC in advance of your visit. Please contact us on 021 4285640 or email localstudieslibrary@corkcoco.ie to make a booking.

Is there any parking nearby?

Yes, there is parking for the public behind the library building. There is also a disabled parking space near the front entrance of the library building.

Can I leave my bags or luggage?

We do not provide facilities for left luggage.

What are your opening hours?

We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm. We do not close during lunchtime.

We are closed on Bank Holiday Mondays.

What does the term Local Studies mean?

Local Studies is the study of the history and heritage of a particular area. The definition is broad in its scope and it can include research into the social, political, economic and cultural life of people who lived in a particular townland, village or town. Many resources can be used to research a local area from history books and local journals, parish records, census returns to maps and articles from historic newspapers. We welcome any queries you may have regarding the history of your local area.

What resources are available in the Local Studies Library?

The Cork and Irish Collections: a large repository of books of local and national interest on various subjects such as history, architecture, archaeology and biography.

Free access to the genealogy website www.findmypast.ie in the library

We have an extensive collection of local history material including historical journals published by local history groups.

Newspaper Archive: Digital access to www.irishnewsarchive.com and also we have various regional newspapers in bound and microfilm format.

Magazines and journals such as ‘History Ireland’, ‘Archaeology Ireland’ and ‘Irish Roots’ and an extensive collection of periodicals.

We also have some unique collections including the Cork Place Name Archive and the Irish Tourist Association Files relating to the history of many towns and villages across the county.

Do I need to be a library member to visit the Local Studies Library?

You do not need to be a library member to visit the Local Studies Library. We welcome everyone to use our facilities. Membership is required to use our internet and PC facilities. It is free to join the library. ID and proof of current address is required to join.

Can I photocopy material?

Photocopying of material is subject to copyright rules.

I am doing a project on the history my local area. How do I find information?

Please contact us and we can offer advice about what resources are available. We can be contacted on 021 4285640 or email us directly with your query: localstudieslibrary@corkcoco.ie.

You're welcome to call on us

The Local Studies Library is open for everyone: historians, students, and general members of the public. If you have a query regarding local history or family history, please visit us.

In addition, you can contact us via phone 021 4285640 or email localstudieslibrary@corkcoco.ie

The Local Studies Team

It has been a very fulfilling post for me in the Local Studies Library, allowing me to go deeper into subjects which with I was already familiar and to learn about ones I knew little or nothing about. I am now addicted to so many subjects it is not easy to single out any, but my personal favourites are Irish history and politics, placenames of County Cork and the streets of Cork city, and general maritime history. I continue to enjoy spreading this knowledge by entertaining individual and group visits to the library and through my involvement in displays, exhibitions and of late, podcasts.
I have a keen interest in local history particularly finding out information about historic buildings such as castles and big houses. I am also fascinated by archaeology and we have very useful archaeological inventories for Cork county in our collections. I also digitise material and resources for our growing online collections. Family history is another area of interest and I enjoy helping people with any genealogical queries they may have.