Research Guide - Irish Military Heritage

 

Part 2:

ii. List of National Institutions & Archives

Search alphabetically


A  B  C  D  F  G  I  K  L  M  N  P  R  S  T  U

i.e.

Military Archives listed under M
National Archives listed under N
University of Cork listed under U

 


- A -

Allen Library
Edmund Rice House,
North Richmond Street ,
D 1
Tel: 01 8551077
Fax 01 855 5243 
E-mail: Allen library

This repository houses an extensive collection of leaflets, posters, correspondence, press cuttings, photographs and memorabilia including medals, relating mainly to the 1916-23 period. The collection includes material relevant to the Irish Volunteers, Irish Republican Brotherhood, Cumann Na mBan, Irish Citizen Army and the IRA until the conclusion of the Civil War. Correspondence between, or reference to, numerous personalities involved in the independence struggle, from well-known figures such as Collins and de Valera, to more obscure local activists is also available. There is a smaller amount of material related to the Fenians and the 1798 rebellion, and to the Defence Forces during the Emergency. The collection also contains information on the German bombing of the North Strand during 1941.

Open 10.00am-4.00pm, Mon-Fri; by appointment. Restricted photocopying available.

 

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- B -

Birr Castle
The Estate office,
Ross Row,
Birr, Co. Offaly
Tel: 0509 20023
Fax: 0509 20425

The archives contain the papers of Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, First Lord of the Admiralty (1766-71) and material relating to the 1798 Rebellion in the papers of Sir Laurence Parsons. Access restricted.

 

Boole Library,
National University of Ireland,
University College Cork ,
Cork
Tel: 021 4903180
Fax: 021 4273428
E-mail: Boole Library
Website: booleweb.ucc.ie/

A number of collections here have material of military interest. The Grehan Family papers contain letters and diaries of Major Stephen Grehan who served with the British Army in France during World War One. The Ryan of Inch papers contain letters (1782-1802) relating to the military career of Major Denis MulRyan in the service of the Austrian Emperor. Also in this collection are log books of voyages in the service of the Royal Navy by John F. Ryan between 1870 and 1879. Furthermore, there is also a collection of papers relating to Thomas MacDonagh, the executed 1916 leader, although it features little is of military interest. The Peters Photographic Collection contains photographs taken by Major C.M.D. Peters while he was with the American First Army during the invasion of Germany in 1944-45. Among the collection are photographs of the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945.

Access by appointment.

 

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- C -

Castle Matrix,
Rathkeale,
Co. Limerick
Tel: 061 64284

Formerly the headquarters of the International Institute of Military History, Castle Matrix holds papers relating to the service of the Irish in the French and Spanish armies during the 1700s and more recent material dealing with war in the air during World War Two. The castle library holds a number of volumes of military interest, particularly relating to the Wild Geese, is open to the public from June until August (11am-4pm).
Access by appointment.

 

Church of Ireland,
Representative Church Body Library
Braemor Park,
Churchtown,
Dublin 14.
Tel: 01 492 3979
E-mail: Church of Ireland Library

The principal theological and reference library of the Church of Ireland , with over 40,000 volumes in its collections. The Library is also the principal repository for the Church of Ireland 's archives.

Open Mon-Fri, 9.30am-1.00pm, 2.00pm-5.00pm

 

Communist Party of Ireland Archives
Connolly House,
43 East Essex Street ,
Tel: 01 6711943

The CPI are in the process of cataloguing and preserving their archive which will contain material of relevance to the 1916-23 period and the participation of Irish volunteers on the republican side during the Spanish Civil War. As yet, it is not accessible to researchers.

 

Cork City & County Archives
Great William O'Brien Street,
Blackpool,
Cork
Tel: 021 4505886
E-mail: Cork Archives Insitute
Website: www.corkarchives.ie

The Institute holds a number of important collections relating to the 1916-23 period, particularyl as it related to Cork . These include the papers of republican activists Daniel Corkery, Seamus Fitzgerald, Donal Hales, Roibeard Langford, J.J. Walsh, Siobhan Lankford, Terence MacSwineyand Liam de Roiste. There are also miscellaneous items of interest from the revolutionary period scattered throughout other papers. A number of collections such as the Edward Murphy diaries and the Murphy emigrant letters contain material on the participation of Cork men in the British armed forces.

Open Tue-Fri, 10.00am-1.00pm, 2.30pm-5.00pm. By appointment.

 

Cork Public Museum
FitzGerald Park,
Mardyke,
Cork .
Tel: 021 4270679
Fax: 021 4270931
E-mail: Cork public Museum

The museum holds a number of collections relating to the War of Independence period such as the Tom Daly and Michael Leahy papers. A recent accession has been the correspondence of Michael Collins and Kitty Keirnan.

 

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- D -

Derry Diocesan Archive
9 Steelstown Road,
Derry BT48 8EU
Tel: 028 71359809

The archive contains a limited body of material relating to the presence of British and United States forces in Derry during the Second World War and afterwards.
Access by appointment.

 

Derry City Council Heritage & Museum Service
Harbour Museum,
Harbour Square,
Derry BT48 6AF
Tel: 028 71377331
Fax 028 71377633
E-mail: Derry City Council H & M service

Among the records of Derry City Council and Londonderry Corporation there are various files relating to the use of Eglington Airport by Coastal Command and Fighter Command from April 1941. The base was used to help escort convoys in the north Atlantic and to defend the northwest from air attack. The archives also contain the four- volume City of Londonderry War Memorial Records.
Access by appointment.

 

Dublin City Archives
138-142 Pearse Street,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 6744800
E-mail: Dublin City Archives

The archives contain some information on employees of Dublin Corporation who took part in the First World War and the 1916 Rising. There are also records relating to the German bombing of the North Strand in 1941 held there.
Access by appointment.

 

Donegal County Archives
Archives Service,
Donegal County Council,
Three Rivers Centre,
Lifford,
County Donegal.
Tel: 074 9172490
Fax: 074 9142290
E-mail: Donegal Couny Archives
Website: www.donegalcoco.ie

The most important public records held by the County Archives are Poor Law Union (workhouse) archives. These include minutes of meetings of eight Boards of Guardians which ran the workhouses, and admission and indoor and outdoor registers. The eight workhouses were in Donegal, Ballyshannon, Dunfanaghy, Glenties, Inishowen, (Cardonagh), Stranorlar, Letterkenny and Milford. The Grand Jury archives, while not complete, date back to mid-18th century and are of great signifigance in demonstrating the development of the county over a century and a half. Grand Jjury archives consist mainly of assizes and presentments of works to be done by contractors.

Over 70 Primary Schools have kindly donated their registers and rollbooks; and there are signifigant records relating to the railways including photographs, flyers, posters, timetables, notices and part of the collection of the Lough Swilly & Londonderry Railway Compnay. Privately acquired archives include an album of photographs relating to Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, taken from 1910 - 1916, estate records, photographs and postcards of towns and villages, oral history interviews, and papers of various well known families, including the Groves of Castle Grove and the Murray Stewarts of south Donegal; a register of people who signed up for FCA Platoons in Donegal, 1946 - 1956, a register of the members of the Letterkenny Battalion of the Local Defence Forces, 1940 - 1947.

 

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- F - 

Franciscan Library and Archives,
Dun Mhuire,
Seafield Road,
Killiney,
Co. Dublin . 
Tel: 01 2826760

The archives hold the Wadding Papers which cover the period of the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny, founded in the aftermath of the 1641 rebellion. However access to these papers is severely restricted.

 

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- G -

Gaelic Athletic Association Museum
New Cusack Stand,
Croke Park,
Dublin 3. 
Tel: 01 8558176
Fax: 01 8558104
E-mail GAA Museum - Croke Park
website: museum.gaa.ie/

The museum houses a new archive with a growing collection but as yet of value to specialist rather than general research. A limited number of materials connected to the relationship between the GAA and the nationalist movement in the early twentieth century are accessible on request. These include the records of the military inquiry into the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre of 1920.
Access by appointment.

 

Garda Siochana Museum and Archives
The Records Tower,
Dublin Castle,
Dublin 2. 
Tel: 01 6719597
Website: www.esatclear.ie/~garda/index.html

The archives contain documents relating to the history of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police, some of which pertain to the conflicts from 1916 to 1923.
Access by appointment.

 

Guinness Archives
Guinness Storehouse,
St. James Gate Dublin 8 
Tel: 01 4714557
Fax: 01 4084737
E-mail: Guinnes Archives

More than 800 employees of Guinness joined the British forces during the First World War, and over 100 were killed. The archives contain extensive reports on employees held as POWs and on food parcels sent to them, as well as on pensions for invalided former employees and on allowances to families of servicemen. There is a Commemorative Roll of Guinness employees in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Flying Corps as well as several files on those who served. There is a smaller number of similar records relating to the Boer War. There are also records related to the involvement of workers from the company in the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War, as well as the impact of these conflicts on the company’s affairs. There are also records of leave granted to employees serving in the Defence Forces during the Emergency.
Open Mon-Thurs, 9.30am-5.00pm, Fri 9.30am-4.30pm.
Access by appointment. Personnel records generally only accessible by relatives.

 

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- I -

Irish Jesuit Archives
35 Lower Leeson Street,
Dublin 2 
Tel: 01 6761248

The archives contain a number of records relevant to warfare in Ireland .
Among these are the MacErlean Transcripts, which cover the years from 1527 to 1774 and include documents relating to Jesuit involvement in the Baltinglass revolt, the Nine Years War and the Williamite War. There are also a number of diaries of Jesuit Chaplains who served with British regiments in both world wars. The First World War photographs of Fr. Browne S.J., who served with the Irish Guards, are held at:

Gonzaga College,
Sandford Road,
Dublin 6.
Access by appointment.

 

Irish Labour History Museum and Archives
Beggars Bush, Haddington Road , Dublin 4. 
Tel: 01 6681071 
E-mail: Irish Labour History Museum

The ILHS Archives contain a limited amount of records of relevance to military history. These include Irish Citizen Army minute book, 1919-1920 and memoirs of Irish volunteers for the Spanish Republic . The papers of trade unionist Cathal O’Shannon contain references to his career as a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Irish Volunteers and the role of labour in the War of Independence and the Civil War.
Access by appointment.

 

Irish Rugby Football Union
62 Lansdowne Road,
Dublin 4. 
Tel: 01 2852023

Seventeen Irish rugby internationals died in the First and Second World Wars. From the Boer War onwards, over 30 were decorated for their wartime service. The IRFU hold a number of books which record their sacrifice, including The Rugby Internationals Roll of Honour, (1919). The IRFU also have a large collection of National and Club histories that contain information of military interest. Some of this material would also be available in public libraries.
Write for information.

 

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- K -

Kilmainham Gaol Museum
Inchicore Road , Dublin 8 
Tel: 01 4535984 Fax 01 4532037

As well as its museum (see separate entry), the Gaol’s archive contains over 8,000 books, letters, periodicals, legal documents, medals, uniforms and weapons relating to the Gaol’s history from 1796. The main collections pertain to the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916, the Land War of theb1880s, the War of Independence 1919-1921, the Civil War 1922-23 and the Emergency1939-45. Among its holdings are autograph books belonging to prisoners held between 1916 and 1923 and many of the last letters written by the executed 1916 leaders. Among the weapons collection is a pike used in 1798 and 1867 and displayed again on parade by Irish Volunteers in 1914.
Access to the archive is by appointment only.

 

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- L - 

Limerick City Museum (The Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum )
Castle Lane,
Nicholas Street,
Limerick . 
Tel: 061 417826

The museum holds a list of members of the Limerick county militia from 1803 to 1813.
Access by appointment.

 

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- M -

Military Archives

Cathal Brugha Barracks,
Rathmines,
Dublin 6. 
Tel: 01 4975499/8046457
Fax: 01 8046237 
Website: Military Archives

Bureau of Military History -
http://www.military.ie/militaryarchives/bureau_of_military_history.html

The Military Archives are the official archives of the Irish Defence Forces and the Department of Defence. They contain extensive sources for the study of twentieth century Irish military history.

The War of Independence period is covered by the Collins Papers, 1913-1922. These papers also contain material on the organisation of the 1916 Rising, including gunrunning and the attempted recruitment of an Irish Brigade from Irish prisoners of war in Germany . There are nationwide reports on the reorganisation of the Irish Volunteers after 1917. From 1919 onwards there are reports of IRA operations, Crown Forces’ casualties, arrests, imprisonments and executions. Also relevant to this period are the medals files, containing the applications for 1916 and War of Independence service medals, (which are available to next of kin or relatives only). A further collection of great importance to the study of the 1913-21 period are the Bureau of Military History 1913-21 papers, which was opened to researchers in March 2003. The Bureau was established in 1947 to assemble and co-ordinate material on the history of the struggle for independence from 1913 onwards. Over a ten-year period over 1,700 witness statements, 300 sets of contemporary documents, twelve voice recordings, a collection of press cuttings and 200 photographs were collected. Those interviewed include veterans of the Irish Volunteers, Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, IRA and Cumann na mBan, as well as political and labour activists. A very useful Introduction to the Bureau of Military History is available at the Archives.

There are numerous sources for the setting up of the National Army and the course of the Civil War. There are intelligence documents on Civil War operations, captured Anti-Treaty documents, register of Army phone and radio communications and collections on the organisation of the Special Infantry Corps and the Railway Protection Corps. The returns of the National Army Census of November 1922 that detailed every member of the new National Army are also available. In addition, the the internment records of captured anti-Treatyites can be consulted.

Files for the 1920s cover the organisation of the new army, its arming and its training, the takeover and occupation of ex-British barracks, the demobilisation process after the Civil War as well as the attempted army mutiny of 1924. There are reports on army strengths, movement of units and organisation from 1924-1939. The Military Mission to the United States in 1926 and the formation of the Air Corps are also covered by separate files. There are also files on the Volunteer Reserve of the Defence Forces from 1934.

For the Emergency period of 1939-1945 the archives hold the G2 Irish Military Intelligence Files containing information on Axis and Allied espionage, attempts by the IRA and other groups to enlist Axis support and related matters. There separate collections relating to crashes and forced landings of Allied and Axis aircraft in the state, in which over 220 airmen lost their lives. There are also extensive files on the internment of Allied and Axis personnel in the Curragh Camp. Separate files cover the internment of IRA suspects and other subversive groups in the Curragh and Arbour Hill. Other collections deal with the Defence Force’s own organisation and Emergency Defence Plans, including sets of maps, and Air Raid Precautions and the establishment of Coastal Defence Artillery and the Army Construction Corps. There are files and membership rolls for the Local Defence Forces (LDF). There are reports on German bombing raids on Dublin , Wexford and elsewhere in neutral Ireland . Other files deal with the control of censorship in the State.

There is also material on Irish United Nations participation from 1958 onwards, in the Lebanon , then Congo , Cyprus , Sinai, the Lebanon again during the 1970s and 1980s, Western Sahara and Namibia etc until the present day.

In addition the Archives also holds collections of journals such as An t-Óglach, An Cosantoir, army handbooks and training manuals as well as a small library. There are a number of Unit Histories involving UN service and a collection of press cuttings relating to the Defence Forces since 1922. There are also over 850 private collections of papers and documents donated by serving or retired members of the Defence Forces and their families. It is important to note that many of these files, particularly those relating to intelligence, are subject to restricted access. Files on internees are generally only open to next of kin or relatives.

Access to the archives is by appointment only.

 

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- N -

National Archives
Bishop Street,
Dublin 8. 
Tel: 01 4072300
Fax: 01 4072333
E-mail: The National Archives
Website: www.nationalarchives.ie/

There are several major collections of military relevance in the National Archives. The Rebellion Papers covering the period from 1790 to 1808 are a major source for the 1798 and 1803 Rebellions. They include reports and correspondence from military personnel and government informers, statements from prisoners, letters from government officials and private letters from citizens to the administration in Dublin Castle . They are accessible by card index. Information on barracks and military establishments, as well as residual material of military interest is contained in the State of the Country Papers that cover the 1790-1830 period and are calendared by county. The Chief Secretary’s Registered Papers, which span the period 1818 to 1922, are a vast source, with numerous references to local militias and army organisation. Their catalogue is a nineteenth- century one, however, and is difficult to access; there is as yet no separate index for entries of military relevance. The Records of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham contain information on invalided soldiers, particularly from the Crimean War. There are miscellaneous volumes of material dealing with the Longford Militia from 1791-1860 and the Sligo Militia 1855-7. The Fenian Papers are an extensive collection of police intelligence reports on that movement, including the 1867 rebellion. There is also a collection of photographs of Fenian suspects. The Crime Branch Special Files contain information on the Irish Republican Brotherhood and other revolutionary bodies from 1887 to 1907. The maintenance of Royal Irish Constabulary and British Army barracks are included in the Office of Public Works files. Relevant collections on the period from 1916 onwards include the Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers on 1916 and card indexes of 1916 internees and a card index of hunger strikers during the War of Independence period. The files of Dail Eireann, 1919-1921 also obviously contain relevant material. All legislation dealing with the Defence Forces from 1922 onwards is covered under the files of the Department of the Taoiseach. These include army reports from 1922 to 1924, reports on the conduct of the Civil War, the enquiry into the 1924 Army Mutiny, plans for National Defence during the Emergency period, the various Military Service Pensions Acts and the establishment of a Volunteer Reserve Force. From March 2003, over 1,700 witness statements from the Bureau of Military History may also be consulted at the National Archives. An index to these statements is available for consultation. The files of the Committee on Claims of British Ex-Servicemen from 1927-1928 covers the demands of World War One veterans for improvements in housing and unemployment relief. They include numerous testimonies from veterans and British Legion branches throughout the Free State . Matters pertaining to the post Civil War IRA, the Blueshirts and other militaristic bodies are covered in the Department of Justice Jus8 series of files.

Open Mon-Fri 10.00am-5.00pm. Photocopying available.
Access with readers ticket only.

 

National Library of Ireland Manuscripts
2-3 Kildare Street,
Dublin 2. 
Tel: 01 6766690 
E-mail: National Library of Ireland
Website: http://www.nli.ie/en/main-manuscripts-reading-room.aspx

The NLI’s collection includes almost 70,000 catalogued manuscripts. These range from extensive collections of documents to postcards, news cuttings and scrapbooks. As there are literally thousands of items of military interest in these collections it is advisable to have a clear idea of what you seek before you begin your search. A useful guide to part of the collection is RJ Hayes (ed) Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation and its supplement, available in the NLI’s manuscripts room. Later collections may be accessible on the computer catalogue. Searches by name or by subject such as Ireland-History-Rebellion of 1641, Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1812-participation, Irish, South African War, 1899-1902-participation, Irish or World War, 1914-1918, Ireland, will yield some results. Some of the larger collections also have a detailed catalogues in hard copy.

Among the main collections related to Irish military heritage are the Kilmainham Papers, 377 volumes dating from 1780-1890, detailing recruitment, supplies, and the movement of troops in Ireland compiled by the various commander in chiefs. The Wolfe Tone and Lennox/FitzGerald/Campell Papers contain major material of interest to the 1798 Rebellion. The papers of the major 19th century political personalities in Ireland such as Daniel O’Connell and William O’Brien all contain some material of relevance. In the case of O’Connell there is material relating to Irish involvement in the wars of liberation in South America . The James Jordan collection is largely devoted to Irish involvement in the American Civil War. There are extensive collections on the 1916 Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. Among the most important are those of Piaras Beaslai and Florence O’Donoghue, detailing the activities of the IRB, the IRA and the development of the National Army. Also important are the Joseph McGarrity, Ginger O’Connell, Eoin O’Duffy, Erskine Childers, Sean T.O’Kelly, Sheehy Skeffington, Eoin MacNeill and Bulmer Hobson collections. The papers of the former Director of the National Library, Richard J Hayes, include material on his code breaking work for Military Intelligence during World War Two.
Open Mon-Wed, 10.00am-8.30pm, Thurs-Fri, 10.00am-4.30pm, Sat, 10.00am-12.30pm.
Admission with reader’s ticket issued through National Library.

 

National Photographic Archive
Meeting House Square,
Temple Bar,
Dublin 2. 
Tel: 01 603 0371
Fax: 01 6777451 
E-mail: National Photographic Archive
Website: The National Library of Ireland

The archive contains over 300,000 photographs, with a number of collections of relevance to military heritage. The Keogh collection covers the years 1914-1923 and includes images of the Irish Volunteers, National Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army, British Army, IRA and National Army as well as of numerous individuals involved in the War of Independence and the Civil War. The Valentine postcard and the J.W., O’Neill collections deal with the 1916 Rising and its aftermath. The Hogan/Lennon collection has a substantial number of photographs of events from 1920-1924 especially during the Civil War. Smaller collections relating to the Civil War are Fitzelle, MacConnoran and Matthews. There are also some photographs of interest in the Casement and Sheehy Skeffington collections.

Open Mon-Fri, 10.00am-5.00pm, Sat 10.00am-2.00pm.

 

National University of Ireland,
Cork College Archives
University Heritage Office,
University College Cork . 
Tel: 021 4903552 Fax 021 4903555 
E-mail: National University of Ireland

In the Queen’s College Cork Correspondence (1845-1918) there are letters
to and from students who had joined the British armed services, especially during World War One. The University College Cork Official Gazette (1911-1920) contains lists of students who served with the British forces during the First World War. The lists are arranged under the headings of (1) Army, (2) Naval Medical service,(3) Royal Army Medical Corps,(4) Indian Medical Corps, (5) Members of staff and (6) Those who applied for Commissions. There is some information on the War Guild, a body comprised of the wives of staff members and female students which supported members of Irish regiments at the front and POWs in Germany . The archives also hold a copy of the War record of University College Cork , published in 1919.

Access by appointment.

 

National University of Ireland,
Galway James Hardiman Library
NUI Galway . 
Tel: 091 524411 ext 2540 Fax 091 522394
E-mail: National University of Ireland (Galway)

Among this library’s collections several relate to military affairs. These include the papers of Frank J. Carty, officer commanding the IRA's 4th Brigade of the 3rd Western Division, from 1919-23. There is also a small collection of papers relating to the murder of two Loughnane brothers at Gort, Co. Galway by the R.I.C. Auxiliaries in November 1920. The papers relating to Professor Cillian O Briolchain’s service with the Local Defence Force in Galway during the Emergency contain information on training and on defensive plans for the Galway area. In the Lucan papers there are a sub group of papers relating to the career of Charles third earl of Lucan. These include material on the 17th Lancers and the earl’s service in the Crimean War. There is also some material relating to military manoeuvres in the frontier provinces of India in 1858. A second sub group of papers deals with the career of Charles fifth earl in the Rifle Brigade,during the period 1881 to 1896, the London Volunteer Corps from 1901 and service with the 1st London Infantry Brigade in Malta and Egypt during World War One.

Access by appointment.

 

National University of Ireland,
Maynooth Russell Library
Maynooth,
Co. Kildare. 
Tel: 01 7083890
Fax: 01 6286008
E-mail: National University of Ireland (Maynooth)
Website: www.may.ie/library

The library holds the archives of the Irish colleges in Spain from 1619-1871, which contain occasional features of military interest.
Access by appointment.

 

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- P -

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
66 Balmoral Avenue,
Belfast BT9 6NY 
Tel: 028 90255905
E-mail: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
Website: http://www.proni.gov.uk/

There are numerous sources for Irish military history held at PRONI, among them diaries, photographs, official and personal correspondence and press cuttings. Under the Wars and Campaigns index there are entries for :-

The Elizabethan Wars (1594-1603), the Cromwellian War (1649-1654) and Williamite War (1688-1691), the Wars of the Spanish (1701-1714) and Austrian Succession (1740-1748), the American Revolution (1775-1783), the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), the Greek War of Independence, the First Burmese War, the US-Mexican War (1846-1848), the Crimean War (1853-1856), the Indian Mutiny (1857-1858), the Nepal War, the American Civil War (1860-1865), the Franco-Prussian War, the Ashanti War, the Sudan Campaign, the Spanish-American War, the Russio-Japanese War, the First and Second Boer Wars, World Wars One and Two, the War of Independence, the Irish Civil War and the Spanish Civil War. There are further entries under the Rebellions and Insurrections index.

As might be imagined the richness of the collections varies considerably. Among the most important collections are those which deal with the organisation of the Militia and Yeomanry from the 1600s, the Volunteer movement of the 1780s and 1790s and the United Irish rebellion of 1798. There are for example militia, yeomanry lists and muster rolls and muster rolls for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, as well as regular army muster rolls from the 1630s to the 1830s. There are files on United Irish activity in Co. Down from 1797-98 and membership books of the United Irishmen in Co. Antrim.

There are large numbers of letters and diaries from soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses (usually from Ulster backgrounds) serving in the First and Second World Wars. There are records of the Royal Irish Fusiliers from 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, Naval log books from the Dardanelles campaign during 1915 and soldiers’ letters describing the Battle of Ypres in 1914 are available. There are also Sir Oliver Nugent’s 36th (Ulster Division) papers, 1915-1924. There is a volume of press obituaries of Irish soldiers killed in the First World War and photographs taken by members of the Royal Garrison Artillery in France during that conflict. There are also war diaries and letters from the Second World War, including those of United States servicemen based in the north. There is also much material on the experience of the Home Front in Northern Ireland , especially during the Belfast Blitz of 1941. There are government reports on the hardship caused by the German air raids and diaries and accounts of Air Raid Wardens and members of the Home Guard.

The domestic conflicts in Ireland , beginning with the Home Rule crisis are also well covered. The papers of Ulster Volunteer Force leaders General Sir George Richardson and Colonel Fred Crawford provide much information on the organisation of that body from 1913. There are county by county reports on the UVF, papers of its youth section from 1913-1915, orders to drivers taking part in the Larne gun running of 1914 and personal memoirs of participants.

The violence of the period from 1919-1923 is covered in police and government reports on the IRA and an alphabetical index of every internee held during those years, whose files are now available to the public.

Further records of military interest are contained in various family papers such as those of the Harts from the Derry/Donegal border, one of whom General George Vaughan Hart commanded British troops in the American War of Independence and the Leslies, from Co. Monaghan, several of whom served in the County Militia and in the Crimea and in India. A list of these papers is accessible via the web at

http://proni.nics.gov.uk/records/military.htm

Open Mon-Fri, 9.15am-4.45pm, 8.45pm Thurs. Photocopying available.
First time visitors must bring identification.

 

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- R -

Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) Sound Archives

Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Tel. 01 208 3111 Fax 208 3080

These archives contain thousands of recordings of radio and television programmes produced by RTE. Access for researchers can be granted and in some cases, copies of programmes made available. Apply in writing, giving as much details about your request as possible.

 

The Inniskillings Museum

The Castle,
Enniskillen,
Co. Fermanagh BT74 7HL
Tel: 028 6632 3142
Fax: 028 6632 0359

The Museum holds war diaries and archival material relating to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, which is available to researchers by appointment.

Open Wed-Sat 2.00-5.00pm or by prior appointment.

 

The Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum
Sovereign’s House,
Mall East, Armagh,
BT61 9DL
Tel: 028 3752 2911 
E-mail: Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum
Website: www.rirfus-museum.freeserve.co.uk

As well as the Regimental museum there are also archives accessible to researchers, by appointment.

Open Mon-Fri 10.00am-12.30pm, 1.00pm-4.00pm

 

The Royal Ulster Rifles Museum
5 Waring Street,
Belfast BT1 2EW
Tel: 028 9023 2086
E-mail: The Royal Ulster Rifles Musuem
Web http://www.geocities.com/rurmuseum/

Archival material such as record books and casualty lists are available to researchers but permission must be sought.
Open Times:
Mon-Thurs 10.00am-12.30pm & 2.00pm-4.00pm (closes at 3.00pm on Fri)
Admission free.

 

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- S - 

The Somme Heritage Centre
233 Bangor Road,
Newtownards,
Co. Down, BT23 7PH 
Tel: 028 47823202
E-mail: The Somme Heritage Centre
Website: www.irishsoldier.org

The Centre holds over 5,000 separate artefacts relating to the First World War. These include letters, postcards, official documents, diaries, pay books, message books and certificates. As well as the experience of the front line soldier, these documents also relate to nursing, the home front and to the Home Rule Crisis in Ireland from 1912-1914.

 

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Tomas O’Fiaich Memorial Library & Archive
15 Moy Road,
Armagh , BT61 7LY
Tel: 028 37522981
Fax: 028 37511944
E-mail: Tomas O'Fiaich Memorial Library

The archives hold the Micheline Kerney Walsh Overseas Archive, which contains over 200,000 documents related to the affairs of Irish exiles in Europe . These include military and naval records of descendants of Irish families such as the O’Neills, O’Donnells and Butlers . Among them are the family papers of General Alfredo Kindelan, former commander of the Spanish Air Force and descendant of chieftains from Meath, and the Duke of Tetuan, a direct descendant of Red Hugh O’Donnell. The documents are primarily Spanish and French based, but material on Irish influence in other European states, especially Italy (with information on the Battalion of St. Patrick) is also contained in the collection. The archive also holds an extensive collection of material relating to the War of Independence and the Civil War in the Fr. O’Kane Papers, which have not been catalogued and are not accessible to researchers at present. The O’Fiaich library contains over 15,000 books with many related to Irish history.
Access by appointment.

 

Trinity College Dublin Library,
Manuscripts Department
Long Room,
TCD,
Dublin 2. 
Tel: 6081189
Fax: 01 6082690 
E-mail: Trinity College Dublin Library
Website: www.tcd.ie/Library/

Among the material of interest to military historians are miscellaneous manuscripts relating to the activities of Gaelic Lord's Shane and Hugh O’Neill, the sieges of Limerick in 1642 and 1651, inquiries into the Desmond Rebellion of 1584 and the Ulster Rebellion of 1615 and numerous military lists from the 1600 onwards.

These include material on militias and yeomanry in Antrim, Leitrim and Armagh . These and all pre-1900 material can be checked through consulting the Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College , Dublin . More substantial collections include the 1641 depositions, the papers of Sir Robert and Edward Southwell, which include material on the Cromwellian war effort in Ireland and the papers of George Clarke, Secretary for War, 1690-1692 which covers the Williamite War.
There are court martial reports from the 1798 Rebellion, the records of the Trinity Volunteers, 1797-98, as well as substantial material on the United Irish movement in the Major Henry C. Sirr’s Papers and the Thomas Russell collection. There are also the records of the Dublin University Officer Training Corps from 1910-1922 and a substantial collection on the university’s role during the 1916 Rising. The papers of Patrick Pearse, Erskine Childers and Frank Gallagher also provide information on the revolutionary period.

Opening Times:
Mon-Fri, 10.00am-5.00pm
Sat 10.00am-1.00pm.

Readers ticket necessary.

 

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University College Dublin Archives
Archives Department,
UCD,
Belfield,
Dublin 4. 
Tel: 01 7167555
E-mail: University College Dublin
Website: www.ucd.ie/~archives/

This archive is of immense significance for the study of Irish military history during the 20th century, especially the revolutionary period 1916-23. Sources for the organisation of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Republican Brotherhood, and the 1916 Rising include the Ernest Blythe, Martin Conlon, Cowan Family, Desmond FitzGerald, Peter Paul Galligan, Sighle Humphreys, Mary MacSwiney, Sean MacEntee, Eoin MacNeill, Denis McCullough, the O’Rahilly, Bernard O’Rourke, James Ryan and Desmond Ryan papers. The Cowan and Desmond Ryan papers also provide information on the Irish Citizen Army. Attempts to form an Irish Brigade in Germany are covered in the Boehm/Casement and Michael Boyle McKeogh papers. Important material on the Cumann na mBan organisation from 1913 onwards exists in the Eithne Coyle O’Donnell, Humphreys, MacSwiney and Lily O’Brennan papers. The post 1916 period and the IRA during the War of Independence are exceptionally well covered in the Frank Aiken, Todd Andrews, Kevin Barry, Caitlin Brugha, Burke Family, Thomas Cardiff, FitzGerald, Humphreys, Sean MacEoin, Con Moloney, Richard Mulcahy, Daniel Mulvihill and Ernie O’Malley papers and notebooks. Sources on the Civil War from an Anti-Treaty IRA perspective are contained in Aiken, Andrews, Burke, Coyle O’Donnell, Humphreys, MacSwiney, MacEntee, O’Malley, O’Rahilly, Ryan and Moss Twomey papers. The Pro-Treaty side and the organisation and development of the National Army are well served by the Dan Bryan, FitzGerald, MacEoin and Mulcahy papers. Much of the material contained in specific collections would be useful to local studies, for example the Longford region through the McKeon Papers. Many memoirs of the period by participants are contained in Military Service pension applications especially in the Aiken, McKeon and Humphreys collections. More general sources on the study of Irish military history are included in the Bryan and Desmond Ryan papers. Sources on service in the British and Commonwealth forces are contained in the Cowan Family, Tom Kettle, Michael J Moynihan, Roberts and Company and George O’Callaghan Papers. There is also a limited amount of material on service with the Irish Defence Forces during the Emergency in Andrews, Cardiff and Conlon papers as well as material on intelligence in the Bryan collection.
The archive's Small Collection index also provides numerous items of diverse military interest. Most of the larger collections are available on microfilm, but some of the smaller ones are only available in hardcopy and must be ordered in advance.

Access is strictly by appointment.
Readers ticket necessary.

 

University of Ulster Library, Coleraine
Coleraine,
Co. Derry BT52 1SA 
Tel: 028 70324345
E-mail: University of Ulster Colraine (Library)
Website: www.ulst.ac.uk/library/lib/col.htm

The archives contain the Headlam-Morley collection which deals with World War One and the Paul Richard collection which is World War Two based. The collection of Denis Johnston contains material on his work as a war correspondent in North Africa, the Balkans, Italy and Germany during World War Two. That of Francis Stuart includes some diaries written during the novelist’s time as a broadcaster for the Nazis during the Second World War.

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