|Clare County Library||
Your Library Your Website
|Ionad Staidéir Áitiúil
Local Studies Centre
|Contact: Mr. Peter Beirne
or Mr. Brian Doyle
Local Studies Centre, Clare County Library, The Manse, Harmony Row, Ennis, V95 R236.
Due to Government guidelines
around the re-introduction of Level 5 restrictions
Clare County Library's Local Studies Centre is a reference library and research centre dedicated to the collection of material on any aspect of County Clare. Located at the Manse, beside the de Valera Library in Ennis, it is open to the public free of charge. The Centre also houses a collection of Irish interest material. Much of the material in the Local Studies Centre has been digitised and published online by the library's ICT & Information Services Department, based in Library Headquarters.
Books - The Centre aims to collect all published books relating to Clare, all books by Clare-born authors and any general publications containing Clare material. This Clare Collection contains c.3,000 titles dealing primarily with the history, archaeology and topography of the county. Directories, almanacs, topographical dictionaries and unpublished works such as theses and projects are also part of the collection. The Irish Collection comprises c.10,000 works on all facets of Irish society.
Journals - The Local Studies Centre contains a comprehensive collection of Irish journal titles including all major Irish historical and geographical publications. Journals of specific relevance to Clare include North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Dal gCais (index by Martin Breen), The Other Clare, Molua, The Clare Association Yearbook and Sliabh Aughty. Local Parish and sporting magazines are also collected.
Newspapers - The following newspapers are available and copies of the national daily papers are held for three months
- The photographic collection contains c. 4,500 prints of Clare scenes.
The Lawrence Collection (1870-1914) is the largest in the archive. A
selection of the Lawrence prints can be viewed in Foto: Clare county
images online. Other collections include the Butler-Graham
Collection (1860s-1950), the Westropp
Collection (1900), the McNamara
Collection (1910), The
Irish Tourist Association Survey (1943), and the Bluett
Railways (1940s-1950s) and Postcard
Collections. The Schorman
Collections contain recent images of Clare's archaeological heritage,
and the Killaloe
Heritage Centre Collection comprises many private photographs of the
Killaloe area and its inhabitants.
Estate Records - The Petworth House Collection comprises filmed copies of some papers of Lord Egremont, who held extensive lands in Clare, during the 17th and early 18th centuries. The Studdert Papers includes details of the Burton, Arthur, Lloyd, Studdert, North and other estates between 1880 and 1930. The O'Brien Rent Rolls date from 1685 to 1828. Manuscripts relating to the Duke of Buckingham's estate in north-west Clare in 1847 and 1848 are also held. The Westby Estate maps of 1736 and 1851 are held on microfilm.
Twigge Collections - Filmed copies of The Twigge Collections (held in the British Library) comprising "Materials for a history of Clann-Cuilein" by Robert William Twigge containing historical, topographical and genealogical collections relating to Clann Chuliéin, or "Macnamara's Country", in East Clare.
Office of Ulster King of Arms, later
the Genealogical Office - The Local Studies Centre holds
three reels of microfilm of documents [follow
link here for more info...] from the Genealogical Office at the National
Library of Ireland, before 1943 known as the Office of Ulster King of
Arms, including some of the collection of the late Alfred Molony who compiled
Clare material drawn from the Ennis Chronicle and the Clare Journal. The
Irish Times wrote of the Molony compendium of genealogical information
(11 March 1943): 'Molony's interest in genealogy led him to go through
these newspaper files, painstakingly copying out all announcements of
marriages or deaths of prominent merchants, landowners and clergymen and
putting these notebooks in alphabetical order.'
Land Surveys - The Books of Survey and Distribution record landed proprietors and their estates during the 2nd half of the 17th Century. Thomas Moland surveyed the Earl of Thomond's estate, which included large tracts of land in Clare, in 1703 and 1711-12. The Tithe Applotment Books (1830s) and Griffith's Valuation (1855), similarly, give information on land holding in the 19th Century.
Auctioneer’s Posters from East Clare - The John Holohan Collection of auctioneer’s posters from east Clare covers the half-century from 1895 to 1945 and covers the sale of all forms of property in east Clare, and especially in the Feakle and Scariff areas.
Records of Local Government - Grand Jury presentment books, outlining the construction of roads in the county, have survived, in part, since 1830 as has the Corporation Book of Ennis (1660-1810).
List of Proposals adopted by the Proposals Committee and Rural District Councils and considered by the County Council at half-yearly meetings, 1903-1920 (incomplete).
- The Scheme for the Collection and Preservation of Folklore and Oral
Tradition, known as the Schools'
Scheme, undertaken by the Folklore Commission in 1937-8, operated
in nearly 200 Clare National Schools. Under the scheme, senior pupils
were asked to collect folklore from their own areas and write essays on
the material they gathered. Copies of the resultant manuscripts are available
at the Local Studies Centre. The Folklore Schools' Scheme is now available
online on the Dúchas website. https://www.duchas.ie
Parliamentary Legislation - A comprehensive collection of nineteenth and twentieth century statute law of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, starting in 1814 (54 Geo 111) and ending in 1921 (11 & 12 Geo 5) is held in the Local Studies Centre, along with the Public General Acts passed by the Oireachtas of Saorstát Éireann from 1922, and subsequently by Dáil Éireann. The Index to the Statutes 1922 to 1968 with chronological tables is also available.
Government Publications - One of the principal sources for local studies of the 19th Century are government publications known as the Parliamentary Papers. Many of these publications contain substantial material of a local nature included in minutes of evidence and appendices.
Some copies of the annual reports of the Deputy Keeper of the former Public Record Office of Ireland and of the former State Papers are also available.
The Census has been taken each decade
since 1821 and provides information on population, housing, age, sex,
occupation, agriculture, emigration and other topics. The Centre also
holds copies of the 1901 and 1911 census manuscript forms for county Clare,
which provide detailed information on each resident of the county in those
years. The 1901
Census is available on this website. The Old
Age Pension Returns of 1841 and 1851 for the county are available
Church of Ireland Parish Records
Reports of Commissioners for enquiring into the condition of the Poorer
Classes in Ireland, 1835-7, have data on the circumstances of impoverished
women, children and the old and infirm.Extensive
papers relating to the Famine and its relief, 1846-53, include correspondence
from Relief Committees and documents relating to the Poor Law administration.
Bureau of Military History, Clare
Witness Statements, 1913–1921
The Bureau has assembled a total of 1773 witness statements along with other documentary sources such as voice recordings, photographs and press cuttings. Detailed instructions governed the taking of statements as obtaining an accurate factual account from witnesses was the paramount concern of the Bureau. General information on the military archives of the Bureau of Military History can be found in the publication “An Introduction to the Bureau of Military History 1913 – 1921” (Dublin, 2002). There are copies of 44 Clare witness statements available. These can be viewed online here.
War of Independence Compensation
How you can help
Each year the centre receives queries on how funds can be donated or given to the centre to enhance services there or to contribute in some meaningful way to the work of the centre. Clare Local Studies Centre now formally seeks donations of funds to develop its services in ways which would not normally be possible within its existing resources.
Click here for more info...