Locations and Indexes

Offline

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.

Online

Three major online Irish newspaper archives exist, at www.findmypast.ie, www.irishnewsarchive.com and www.irishtimes.com/archive. The first has British Library copies of Irish provincial newspapers, irishnewsarchive 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.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

INDEXES

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 Ms. 3197.
  • 1737-1800: News Letter (Belfast). Biographical material. Online: www.ucs.louisiana.edu/bnl.
  • 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 other places.
  • 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