Locations and Indexes
The best repository for Irish newspapers is the British Library. After 1826 it was
obliged to hold a copy of all Irish publications, and from that date its collection
is virtually complete. It also has an extensive, though patchy, collection before
that date. In Ireland the largest collection is held by the National Library of
Ireland, though this is by no means comprehensive. Many unique copies are held
in local libraries and other repositories. The Report of the newsplan Project in
Ireland (NLI, 2nd ed., 1998) lists all known hard-copy and microfilm holdings of
Irish newspapers. It is available as a database on the NLI website, www.nli.ie.
Two major online Irish newspaper archives exist, www.irishnewsarchive.com
and www.irishtimes.com/archive. The former has full-text searches of the stable
of newspapers now part of the Independent Group, including many provincial
titles of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Its earliest titles are the
Freeman's Journal from 1763 and Finn's Leinster Journal from 1768. The bulk of its
collection comprises twentieth-century newspapers, including complete runs of
the Irish Independent from 1905 and the Irish Press from 1931, and it can be very
useful in tracking living relatives, by means of death notices in particular. The
Irish Times archive includes an almost complete run of the paper from its
foundation in 1859. For Irish newspapers in the British Library, see www.british
A number of indexes exist to the biographical material to be found in
newspapers, and they can greatly lighten the burden of research. The following
list orders them by date.
- 1730-40: Pue's Occurrences and the Dublin Gazette. Marriages and deaths. NLI
- 1737-1800: News Letter (Belfast). Biographical material. Online:
- 1756-1827: Rosemary ffolliott's 'Index to Biographical Notices Collected from
Newspapers, Principally Relating to Cork and Kerry, 1756-1827'
transcribes all the notices from eleven Cork newspapers, together
with relevant notices from a further eight Dublin and Leinster
publications. Her 'Index to Biographical Notices in the Newspapers of
Limerick, Ennis, Clonmel and Waterford, 1758-1821' covers eleven
provincial and five Dublin newspapers. Between the two works almost
all the surviving eighteenth-century notices for the southern half of
the country are extracted. Copies are available in local libraries, DCLA,
NLI and the library of the Society of Australian Genealogists.
1771-1818: Hibernian Chronicle (1771-1802) and Cork Mercantile Chronicle
(1803-1818). Biographical notices. IGRS, London.
1772-84: Donald M. Schlegel, Irish Genealogical Abstracts from the Londonderry
Journal, 1772-1784 (Baltimore, Md.: 1990; reprinted 2001).
1772-1812: Henry Farrar, Biographical Notices in Walker's Hibernian Magazine 1772-1812 (Dublin: 1889). Online: www.celticcousins.net, among
1792-1964: Northern Star (1792-7), Northern Herald (1833-6), Downpatrick
Recorder (1836-86), Co. Down Spectator (1904-1964), Mourne Observer
(1949-80), Newtownards Chronicle (1871-3). Southern Education and
Library Board (Northern Ireland).
1828-64: Vol. 6 of Albert Casey's O'Kief, Coshe Mang etc. reprints the
biographical notices from the Kerry Evening Post from 1828 to 1864
and includes them in the general index at the back of the volume.
1829-69: Births, marriages and deaths from the Ballymoney Northern Herald
and Ulster General Advertiser (1860-63), the Coleraine Chronicle
(1844-69) and the Londonderry Sentinel (1829-69). NIFHS cd-roms.
1841-6: The Cork Examiner .www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk