Limerick Archives holds an extensive range of archive collections relating both to local government and to the commercial and cultural life of Limerick. Thanks to a major cataloguing project, detailed lists of these collections are now available. The links below allow researchers to explore all of our catalogued collections. These are available to view as PDF by clicking on the collection name.
For preservation purposes and convenience some of our most popular collections have been digitized and are available to view online here.
Limerick City Council and Local Government Collections
Some of these collections have been digitised and are available to view here
L/AH/AS Allotment Schemes Limerick City Council
This collection consists of a number of general files (1938-1941) relating to the administration of allotment schemes in Limerick city. It also includes files relating to cases taken against by the Corporation by owners of the land on which allotment schemes operated in Limerick. Land on which Allotment schemes were in operation included Janesboro, Rathbane, Athlunkard, Farranshone, and Corbally.
L/AH/PH/1 Public Health Services Pre-1960 Limerick City Council
This collection relates to the public health services provided by Limerick Corporation from 1910 until the establishment of Limerick Board of Health 1960.
L/BG Board of Guardians records: Limerick Union - Newcastle West Union - Croom Union - Glin Union - Kilmallock Union - Rathkeale Union
The Poor Law Act was introduced in 1838 in Ireland to provide institutional care for the destitute through its network of workhouses. It diversified so much in the course of the 19th century that it provided the foundation for the new local authorities established in 1898. The poor law system was gradually dismantled, and eventually abolished in 1923.
L/CS City Surveyors Department 1854-1963 Limerick City Council
The collection consists of correspondence, street repair application books, and volumes which relate to wages received by cleansing and repairs employees, who reported to the city surveyor. It is useful to researchers interested in public health, and in the historic role of Limerick City Council in the provision of services which have continued into the twenty-first century such as water supply, sewerage, street cleaning, collection and disposal of refuse, burial ground and abatement of nuisances.
L/EL Limerick Corporation Electrical Undertaking
This collection consists of a single volume of Electrical Lighting Rentals (1914-1917)
L/FM Financial Management (Pre 1934) Limerick City Council (1842-1934)
This sub-collection of Limerick City Council relate to the financial management of the Corporation, prior to the 1934 Management Act.
L/FR/FE Limerick City Franchise and Elections
This collection relates to the Local Elections and Parliamentary elections from 1840 onwards, and the role of the local authority in the compilation of electoral registers.
L/FR/FM Financial Management (Post 1934) Limerick City Council
The finance section of Limerick City Council is involved with all sections of the local authority. Therefore this collection is a rich historical source for researchers interested in the development of local authority administration and the financial status of Limerick City Council throughout the twentieth century.
L/FR/MY Mayors of Limerick City Limerick City Council
This collection relates to the Mayors of Limerick City. It includes photographs, correspondence, and material relating to Mayoral elections dating from 1842-1999.
L/FR/PM Property Management Limerick City Council 1774-1956
The collection relates to property rent received by Limerick Corporation from tenants, dating from 1774-1956. It includes twentieth century correspondence, arranged chronologically, regarding applications for permission to encroach on corporation property (prior to the Planning Act 1963)
L/FR/TC Town Clerk's Office Limerick City Council
This collection consists of letter books from the Office of the Town Clerk, which date 1847-1930. It also includes letters from the town clerk to other senior officers in the Corporation including the city treasurer (1899-1909) and to the city surveyor (1922-1932), and to other individuals. Also included are rough minute books and correspondence which relate to the town clerk’s role as secretary to the City Council and the Special Committees. As well as a variety of notices issued to the public by the town clerk on behalf of Limerick Corporation in the form of newspaper advertisements and public posters
L/G/1 Limerick Corporation Gasworks (1880-1949)
This collection relates to the Limerick Corporation Gas Undertaking from 1880 to 1947. It includes gas electors’ posters and lists, various reports and correspondences which were referred by the Gas Committee or gas engineer to the Office of the Town Clerk and City Manager, wages books, and one volume of bad debt. Also included are series of plans and drawings for improvements at the Gas Works.
L/HG/AH Assisted Housing Schemes (1928-1961) Limerick City Council
This collection relates to assistance given by Local Authorities to public utilities and private individuals to build private dwellings houses during the period 1928 to 1961. A public utility society is a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, the interest on whose share or loan capital does not exceed a prescribed rate.
L/HG/HC/1 Plans and Drawings for Corporation Housing (1886-1932) Limerick City Council
This collection consists of plans and drawings of houses constructed by Limerick Corporation during the period 1886 until 1932. The plans were generally drawn by the city surveyor. Researchers should also consult L/SMIN for Minutes of the Housing of the Working Class Committee, L/CS City Surveyors’ Department, and L/HG for additional Limerick City Council Housing Collections
L/MIN Limerick City Council Minute Books
Spanning from 1841 -1972 the minutes contain a wealth of detail on the development of Limerick City , its people and local politics.
L/MP Commissioners for the Improvement of St Michaels Parish
Newtown Pery experienced a great development in the last third of the eighteenth century and the incapacity of Limerick Corporation to provide all the services required for the expanding city, led to the appointment of improvement commissioners. The result was the creation of the Commissioners for the Improvement of St Michael’s Parish by the Newtown Act of 1807.
L/NW Limerick City Council Night Watch
Limerick Corporation’s Night Watch service was established in 1843. The Night Watch’s main function was to ensure public order, the security of property and the lighting of lamps. The service operated from Watchhouse Lane, off Rutland Street.
L/OC Limerick Corporation (Pre Reform)
The collection includes a number of volumes relating to the admission to the status of Freeman of Limerick including an index to Freemen admitted (L/OC/1), and a list of applicants for Freeman Status. An Oath Book, transcript Minute Book and financial material provides an insight into city administration. (L/OC/3-5)
L/PC Limerick City Police Force (1922)
Mayor Stephen O’Mara recruited the Limerick City Police Force, as a purely civic body, to replace both the Nightwatch and the RIC in policing the city
L/PD/EC/2 Turf Production Scheme (1940-1958)
This collection consists of files relating to various turf production schemes which were co-ordinated by Limerick City Council during World War II.
L/SMIN Limerick City Council Special Minute Books
Minutes of Limerick City Council Special Committees provide a detailed insight into the manner in which the City Council carried out a host of functions and are a useful source for the study of political, social and economic issues that arose in Limerick City throughout the period including the operation of the City Council itself.
L/WW Limerick Corporation Water Works 1883-1934 (-1937)
This collection includes water rate books, financial records, water reports such as water wastage and water consumption reports, plans and drawings for improvement works, and newspaper cuttings relating to the Water works
P1 Limerick Chamber of Commerce
The collection is arranged into ten sections. The first five sections are organized by category of record namely minute books, correspondence, ballot books, returns of goods, and financial records. All these records relate directly to the Chamber of Commerce. The next two sections relate to the records of the Chamber of Commerce Library, and the Limerick Arbitration Society, both which were established by the Chamber of Commerce. The final sections consist of records relating to the Limerick Employers Federation, the National Insurance Company, and the Limerick merchant Poole Gabett
P2 Limerick Harbour Commissioners
The Limerick Harbour Commissioners collection was deposited in Limerick Archives in 1982. The collection spans two centuries, with material dating from 1823 until 1980. However some of the material listed in the descriptive list was returned to the Limerick Harbour Commissioners. The descriptive list indicates clearly which records are not held by Limerick Archives.
P3 Limerick Catholic Institute
The collection held by Limerick City Archives consists of one volume of minute books, and a small number of annual reports. The volume of minutes (P3/1) has recently been restored. The annual reports provide insightful information into the activities of the Institute, and its financial position
P4 Maurice Lenihan, 1759-1875
The Maurice Lenihan Papers held by Limerick Archives consists of correspondence, Lenihan’s research notes, and three scrapbooks kept by Lenihan himself, which consist of research material, newspaper cuttings, personnel reminiscences and other miscellaneous items. Additionally it includes a photocopy of Thomas Steele’s Practical Suggestions on the Improvement of the Navigation in the Shannon (1828). The collection is available to view on our website.
P5 Bedford Row Lying In Hospital 1868-1971
The Bedford Row Lying- In Hospital collection held by Limerick City and County Archives consists mainly of annual reports, minute books of the management committees and medical staff committees, patient registers and miscellaneous correspondence. The earliest document in the collection dates from 1868, and latest documents date from the time of the closure of the hospital in 1975.
P8 Croker Papers
The Croker Papers relate to the Croker family of Ballyneguard, County Limerick, and to Thomas Crofton Corker (1798-1858), the noted writer and folklorist The collection is divided into two sections. The first section consists of an account book of John Corker of Ballyneguard, County Limerick. The second section relates to Thomas Crofton Croker.
P6 Devon Rentals
Receiving Rental of the Devon Estate, county Limerick (1861-1862), Rental of the Estate of Lord Viscount Courtenay (1762)
P9 Limerick Waterworks
The Limerick Waterworks Company collection consists of records dating from 1833 to 1883. It includes records relating to purchase of land by Limerick Waterworks (P9/1-3); account books (P9/5), water rental books (P9/7); correspondence book (P9/8), a file relating to the sale of the company to Limerick Corporation (P9/11).
P10 Limerick County Militia
The collection held by Limerick City Archives consists of two volumes of accounts and volunteer lists (P10/1-2), as well as receipts and bills, and a small correspondence file of the Limerick County Militia.
P11 Geary & Son Biscuit Factory
The collection provides a unique insight into the fabric of now demolished building in a key part of Limerick’s visual landscape and an insight into the conduct of a large industry in Limerick.
P12 Cannocks and Company
The collection dates from 1869 to 1980, and includes company minutes, shareholder records, share transfer journals, annual financial statements and accounts, general ledgers, salary books, order books, and company ephemera.
P14 Monteagle Papers
The Spring Rices of Mount Trenchard were descended from Sir Stephen Rice, Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1687. The family owned property in Kerry (the Castlemaine Estate and Ballycrispin) but the main family seat was at Mount Trenchard, county Limerick, near Foynes, where the family held around 6,500 acres, granted by a charter of James 1st on 20 June 1612, to Francis Trenchard.
P15 Mulcahy Papers
The Mulcahy papers contain mainly receipts for the payment of rent on a landholding at Ballykeefe, Co. Limerick, for the payment of rent on a labourer’s cottage and the payment of poor rate on the landholding. These receipts represent the typical outgoings of a small farmer in late nineteenth century Ireland.
P16 Limerick Custom House Papers
The Customs House Papers are arranged in three sections, which are firstly papers emanating from the Collectors Office Limerick, secondly papers relating to Custom House Staff, and thirdly papers dating from 1923, which relate to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.
P18 Limerick House of Industry
The General Registry of Inmates of the House of Industry was donated by Lord Limerick to the Mayor of Limerick in 1989.
P20 Fair Rent Tribunal
This small collection consists of two Registers of Judgements of cases heard by the Fair Rents Tribunal, sitting in Nenagh, Rathkeale, Croom. Kilmallock, Newcastlewest, Limerick and Tipperary.
P21 Coote Papers
Elizabeth Coote’s Private Expenditure Books (1776-1785), Chidley Coote Personal Expenses (1797-1837), Farm Account Book (1832-1857), Anne Coote’s Personal Expenditure (1803 – 1833), Household Expenditure Books (1820-1843), Posthumous Account Book relating to Chidley Coote’s estate (1843-1844).
P22 Hunt and De Vere Family of Curraghchase
The papers of the Hunt and De Vere Family, Currahchase, county Limerick The papers date from 1755 to 1888 and include correspondence, diaries, estate papers, financial records, and literary material. The collection is arranged mainly by family member.
P23 Rentals and Particulars of Sale
The collection relates to the sale of property in Limerick city and county and adjoining counties; many of the documents relate to the sale of land and breakup of estates in the late twentieth century when property changed hands from the largely Protestant Ascendancy to the Catholic middle classes and prosperous farmers under the Encumbered Estates Acts and later the Land Commission.
P24 Security Estate Management, Hayes, Doyle, Nash
Papers of Limerick Estate Management incorporating James Nash and Sons, 85 O’ Connell Street Limerick. The collection includes property transactions relating to a number of members of the Hayes family who held a number of properties in Limerick notably on O’ Curry Street and M. Doyle (a builder) who acquired an interest in some of the same buildings and whose rental interests were also handled by Nash Estate Agents.
P28 Sheehy Papers
These papers comprise two volumes of a three volume rent ledger of the Sheehy family of Liskennett, and a set of receipts. The letters are mostly for payment of rates in the 1842 – 1848 period, although there is one receipt for the tithe payment from 1831.
P30 John Quinn and Company Limited Tea, Wine and Spirit Merchants, Ellen Street
The Company was both retail and wholesale. It had premises in George Street and Thomas Street. Francis Kearney and Son’s Solicitors acted solicitors of the company The collection consists of a company minute book, dating from 1899 to 1926, which was purchased at auction by Limerick Archives in 1995.
P34 Christian Brothers Schools Limerick
This collection consists of a small number of school registers and other records relating to Christian Brothers Schools in Limerick. These records were deposited with Limerick Archives in 2002.
P35 O'Donnell Papers
This collection is organised by family member. The earliest records relate to John O’Donnell and to his son Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Anderson O’Donnell. These include leases which connect the O’Donnell family with Trough from as early as 1743, although throughout the collection numerous associated addresses within the City of Limerick are also mentioned.
P37 Grand Juries Presentments
This collection consists of printed accounts of Limerick grand jury 1811-1821 and printed presentment lists for Limerick for 1821. Limerick County Library, Local Studies holds a more complete set of presentment lists for Limerick, dating from 1809-1900.
P39 Limerick Baker's Society
This collection consists of two minute books dating 1871 to 1884, and 1909 to 1923. Additionally University College Dublin Archives holds a large number of records from the Limerick Bakers Society dating from 1844 to 1960 which include minute books, financial records, lists of members, correspondence files, and printed material.
P45 Massey Lord Clarina Papers
The Massey family of Clarina, County Limerick, first came to Ireland under Cromwell’s invasion in 1641 and as a reward for his services during the invasion General Hugh Massey was granted 1,800 acres in Duntryleague, near Galbally County Limerick. His great grandson Hugh (1700-1788) became the first Baron Massey and in 1757 he inherited an estate at Elm Park, Clarina. On his death the property passed to his brother George (1771-1796) and subsequently to another brother Eyre. (1719-1804). The collection includes material relating to the third, fourth, fifth and sixth barons covering the period 1828 to 1914. The collection includes a marriage settlement for the third baron of Clarina, a letter from the fourth baron to his brother, and a property deed relating to the fifth baron. The collection relates mainly however to Eyre Nathanial Massey, the sixth, and last Baron Clarina.
P47 William B. Fitt and Company Auctioneers
The collection includes mainly Auction Grazing books containing details of weekly markets held at the Paddocks, Rutland, dealing in mainly cattle, sheep and pigs and annual sales for Bulls and Pedigree animals. The annual bull sale was the oldest annual bull sales in the country. As these also contain details of grazing sales- the rent of grass for grazing purposes, the collection provides an insight into agricultural practice and land use in county Limerick.
P48 Limerick Fishery Board of Conservators
The Limerick Fishery Board was a subsection of the Department of Land and Fisheries. The Limerick fishery district (Number 8) covered the tideways and catchment areas of all rivers flowing into the sea between Dunmore Head, Co. Kerry and Hags Head, Co. Clare
P49 Limerick County Infirmary
Limerick County Infirmary was established in 1759, as a four bed charitable hospital located on Little Island. It was founded by two surgeons Sylvester O’ Halloran, who also established the Royal College of Surgeons and developed a new method for the treatment of cataracts, and Giles Vandeleur. A new County infirmary was built in 1811 on Mulgrave Street developed into a new County Infirmary on Mulgrave Street, Limerick which was built in 1811 and operated until 1958. The surviving collection is not extensive, dating from 1835 and comprising mainly minute books of the Governors and the Managing Committee for the nineteenth century with some financial material and ward books for the twentieth century.
P51 Glenwilliam Co-op Papers
The Glenwilliam Co-Operative (1891- 2001) was central to the economic and indeed the social life of a large area of County Limerick. This small collections offers us a unique insight into the growth, development and eventual decline of the Co-op in the Mid-West Region.
P54 Richard Russell Papers
These papers were part of the estate of Richard Russell J.P. He was a member of the distinguished Russell family- they were an old Protestant family who had resided in the city since the middle Ages. Many Russells served in civic offices and were prominent in the business affairs of the city. The bulk of the papers in this collection deal with the Russell’s properties in Limerick City and at Faha and Plassey, County Limerick and especially with the estate at Ballincarriga, Kildimo, County Limerick.
P60 Matterson Papers
The name of Mattersons was synonymous with the world famous Limerick Bacon and Pork products. Mattersons were at the forefront of the establishment of the Bacon Industry in Limerick. Sometime around 1820, John Russell a native of Cumberland, England arrived in the city. Russell had adapted a bacon curing method, which he saw practised in Berwick upon Tweed. Russell was often credit with curing the first of the renowned Limerick Hams.
P98 St. Joseph’s Hospital - This collection has restricted access.
Collection of records based on Limerick’s local 19th century mental hospital. The collection is comprised of minute books, ward books, administrative records, maps, admission books, patient registers, and accession forms.
Limerick Archives hold the St. Joseph's Hospital collection on behalf of the HSE who hold full control over the collection and all decisions relating to accessing it. Requests should be made directly to the HSE by contacting: Administration Building, Elmhurst, St. Joseph's Campus, Mulgrave Street, Limerick
P118 Owen Bresnan
Owen Bresnan was a native of Lough Gur, Co. Limerick. He lived from 1847 to 1912. While his main occupation was that of a farmer he was widely known as a ‘cow doctor’ in pre-veterinarian days. He was interested in history, poetry, letter writing and local politics. His historical knowledge was sought by scholars and surveyors came visiting the Lough Gur ares.