Local History & Archives Department

Opening Hours Monday -  Friday 



10:00am  -  5:00pm    


Staff: Michael Lynch
Tel: (066) 7121200   Fax: (066) 7129202
E-Mail: localhistory@kerrylibrary.ie
Archives archivist@kerrylibrary.ie 

The Local Studies &  Archives Department is located at County Headquarters, Moyderwell, Tralee.

 Kerry has a rich tradition in the areas of archaeology, history and antiquities. The Local Studies & Archives section acts as a resource centre for the very many and varied enquiries in this field. A comprehensive collection of books, tapes, prints and audio visual material has been built up over the years and is added to on a regular basis. Kerry newspapers are available for consultation on microfilm and are extensively used for research purposes. 

Kerry’s World War I Dead


1901 Census – Kerry


The reference collection includes :

  • Áit-ainmneacha Chiarraí/ Kerry Place Names Survey
  • Local newspapers dating back to early 19th century
  • Collection of Books on Kerry and by Kerry authors
  • Local Maps ( Ordnance Survey )
  • Tithe Applotment Books (1820/30) - on microfilm
  • Griffith's Valuation of Tenements (c.1850)
  • 1901 and 1911 Census - online
  • Local Historical Photographs (Lawrence / Eason Collections)
  • Board of Guardian Minute Books ( 1840's - )  - Quinnipiac University  [Board of Guardian Records Killarney 1845 & 1846] www.thegreathunger.org
  • Periodicals ( e.g. R.S.A.I. Journal, Cork Historical Society Journal )
  • Irish Folklore Commission Schools Collection (1937/38) - on  microfilm
  • Irish Life and Lore  - [ Recordings compiled between 1995-2007 in conversation with local Historians, Archaeologists, Folklorists and Storytellers, detailing aspects of Irish life in times past, and the lore in the Southwest of Ireland. ]www.irishlifeandlore.com


Newspaper archive available at Kerry County Library  


The new Local Studies/Archives Department on the first floor of Kerry County Library Headquarters was officially opened on Monday 25 March, 2002, by the Mayor of County Kerry, Cllr. Paul O’Donoghue. Kerry has a rich tradition in the areas of archaeology, history and antiquities.  The Local Studies section of the County Library acts as a resource centre for the very many and varied enquiries in this field, both from within Ireland and abroad. This new service provides extended facilities for research and study of materials relating to the history, topography, antiquities and genealogy of County Kerry.    

Kerry Publications 2013

Kerry Publications 2012

Kerry Publications 2011

Kerry Publications 2010

Kerry Publications 2009

Kerry Publications 2008

Kerry Publications 2007

Kerry Publications 2006

Kerry Publications 2005

Kerry Publications 2004

Kerry Publications 2003

Kerry Publications 2002

Kerry Publications 2001



Useful Genealogica/ / Historical websites :

Ellis Island Search Engine www.jewishgen.org/databases/eidb/ellis.html
Church of Jesus Christ , LDS www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp
Commonwealth War Graves   www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/search.aspx
Maps of towns and cities in Ireland www.fallingrain.com/world/EI
Public Records Office of Northern Ireland www.proni.gov.uk
Irish Genealogy Limited www.irishgenealogy.ie
Irish Family History Foundation www.irishroots.net
TIARA’s Heritage Centre Report www.tiara.ie/results.htm
History from Headstones www.historyfromheadstones.com
Irish Origins www.irishorigins.com
Transported Felons www.nationalarchives.ie/topics/transportation/search01.html
Historical Abstracts from Irish Newspapers www.irelandoldnews.com
The Down Survey of Ireland 1656-1658 http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/
The Irish Ancestral Research Association www.tiara.ie



The Kerry Local History & Archives section, based at Kerry Library Headquarters, Tralee holds many and varied holdings. They include a coverage of local government from the Poor Law era onward, as well as a good selection of donated and salvaged material. The following list is a snapshot of what is available. Many of the collections have not yet been fully catalogued, but can be fairly easily consulted. Kerry Library is now in a position to receive and preserve archive collections from around the county. If members of the public are aware of business or family collections, which may be under threat for one reason or another, the library can assure them of an environmentally safe home where they can be properly catalogued and their research value fully realised .


  Main Sources :  

  • Poor Law Boards of Guardians Minute Books for all of the Kerry Unions, with varying covering dates.  While Minutes for most Unions are relatively intact, those for Cahirciveen (1905-22) and Glin/Listowel No. 2 (1870-91) are less complete.
  • Grand Jury Presentments, 1874-89 & 1892-97.
  • Kerry County Council Rate Books & Abstracts of Accounts (covering dates to be established).
  • Kerry County Board of Health Minutes (1922-42), Correspondence (1922-45) and Collection Books (1939-69).  This collection also includes County Infirmary Minutes, 1812-1913.
  • Kerry County Committee of Agriculture Minutes, 1920-1988.
  • Rural District Council Minute Books, 1899-1925 (not complete for all RDC areas).
  • Tralee & Killarney UDC Financial Volumes (Financial Statement Books, Ledgers, Abstracts of Rates etc.).
  • Dingle Harbour Commissioners Records.
  • Tralee CYMS Minutes.
  • Tralee YMCA Minutes, 1894-1906.
  • Kerry Field Club Minutes (1939-1957), Correspondence & Accounts (1940s and 1950s).
  • North Kerry Archaeological Survey Maps & Related Fieldwork Notes.
  • Ordnance Survey, 1841 (1st edition).
  • Geological Survey of Ireland – Kerry Maps.
  • Maritime Maps, 1775 (Dursey to Valentia Island ) and 1860’s.
  • O’Donovan & Sons, The Square, Tralee , Ledgers (1933-‘53), Cement Ledger (1932-‘53), & Letter Books (1917, 1920 & 1922).
  • Pat Meehan Menswear (formerly W A Lynn & Co.) Financial and Outfitting records, 1916-1970.  This represents the surviving archival papers of the business.  The early outfitting books are of particular interest, given the range of customer and source of orders (everyone from the RIC and army to Austin Stack).
  • O’Brien Corkery & Company, Kenmare Business Records, 1850-1952.
  • Godfrey Estate Maps, 1750.
  • Stoughton Estate Maps, 1729-1811.
  • Lord Listowel Estate Rentals (1880s-1960s), Deeds (1812-1956) & Legal Proceedings Papers (1877-1970).
  • James D Crosbie, Land Agent, Letter Books, 1892-1909.
  • Gun Estate Rental (1879) and Legal Papers (1890-1949).
  • Gun Browne papers relating to properties in and around Listowel (Dromin, Skehanerin & Cahirdown), and Rattoo.  The papers include a 1914 schedule of encumbrances on the estate, accounts from the 1880s, tenancy particulars (1908), and a receiving rental of 1885.
  • Lord Ormathwaite Estate Particulars of Tenancies [1907], and Papers Associated with Land Commission Sale of the Estate (1900-1925).
  • Baron Ventry Estate Fair Rent Agreements (1906) & Legal Papers (1891-1920).
  • Sandes Estate Papers, 1850s-1925.  This collection largely refers to the Sallowglen/ Kilbaha end of the Sandes properties.  However, the Oakpark estate is dealt with in two bundles, relating to the eventual sale (1890s to 1925).  There are also isolated documents of particular interest in the will of Thomas Sandes (1874), the 1802 lease of Kilbaha, and a copy lease of Ballyhorgan lands from 1855.  There are also Rentals (incomplete), Ejectment Notices (1890s), and some Land Purchase Advance Applications (1885).
  • De Janasz/Vicars Estate.  There are three boxes of material relating to the Kilmorna property.  The majority of material deals with the post-fire insurance claim, but there are some earlier letters of Sir Arthur Vicars.
  • Chute Family Papers & Deeds, 1823-1940.
  • Hurley/Fuller Estate, mostly 1900s-1940s.  These papers deal primarily with Fenit property, including the Samphire Hotel.  The collection also includes appeal papers to the House of Lords in connection with flooding at Fenit in 1920, and a file on damage done to Fenit House by Free State troops.
  • County Surveyor ’s Reports on Schedule of Road Contracts & New Works, also giving quarterly salary statements, 1899-1918.
  • Crosbie Estate (Ballyheigue) Rentals (1857-58, 1866, 1869, 1890, 1892, 1899-1908, 1915-‘17), Legal Papers (mostly 1900-‘25), Tenant Purchase Loans Account Book, 1904.
  • Letter Books, Estate Account Books & Rentals of various estates managed by Robert McClure, Glenhazel, Land Agent, 1860s-1920s.
  • Denny Papers.  These cover primarily the period from 1860 to 1945.  However, there are a few isolated documents from earlier (Copy of William Denny’s Marriage Settlement, 1832, Copy Family Estate Settlement, 1819, & Transcript of 1630 Licence to hold Tralee Fair).  Also included is a Rental & Particulars Document from the 1899 Sale of the Estate.
  • Knight of Kerry Valentia Rental (December 1911 – December 1914), Valentia Estate Maps and tenant details (1881), Manuscript Diary (May 1830-January 1831), Incomplete Copy Letter Book (December 1876-August 1880).
  • Fr Ferris Papers.
  • Denis Sugrue Papers – Photographs and Articles relating to the Castlemaine & Milltown area.
  • Theo Stoakley Local History Collection.
  • Reidy Literary and Family Papers.
  • Mícheál Ó Ruairc Papers.
  • John O’Connell Solicitors Papers, including Civil Bill Books, Letter Books, Deeds and Family Papers.  Only a partial catalogue exists to date.  The earliest catalogued documents date from 1817, the latest from 1934.
  • Creagh & Byrne (Matthew Byrne & Co.) Papers, including many of the same document types as the O’Connell collection.  Only a partial catalogue exists to date.  The earliest catalogued documents date from 1842, the latest from 1950.  This collection also includes financial records of the firm.
  • The Kerryman Photographic Archive, 1957-1988
  • As well as those collections listed above, there are also smaller collections of (mostly) legal papers relating to the O’Keeffe, McGillicuddy, Foley, Flahive, Leonard, Kearney, Keane and Gentleman families, to name but a few.
  • The National Archives’ Business Records Survey has also produced some donations to the collections in the County Archives .  These include a day book from Roche’s of Castleisland (1902-06 & 1922-24), a Policy Book of Robert McCowen & Sons Ltd. (1913-1922), 8 volumes of O’Neill’s Store, Main Street , Cahirciveen, and 4 volumes of material from Lynn & Knightly Outfitters.




Journals / Periodicals

Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society Journal
Cork Historical and Archaeological Society Journal
Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Journal
Capuchin Annual
Irish Historical Studies  
Irish Geography  
Irish Naturalists Journal 
An Ríocht  
Archaeology Ireland  
History Ireland




Kerry Library
Moyderwell, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Leabharlann Chiarraí
Tobar Muí Doire, Trá Lí, Co. Chiarraí

Tel: (066) 7121200   Fax:(066) 7129202
E-mail: info@kerrylibrary.ie