Archives from Offaly
Offaly County Council is working with Offaly History to host collections from both bodies in a professional archive buiding at Axis Building Park. Both collections are being moved in 2019, providing better storage and much improved visitor access. Offaly History and the County Council host information about a number of collections on www.offalyarchives.com. This website features collections from each repository and also information from the Digby Estate in Dorset relating to their Offaly Estates and selected papers from the Birr Castle Archives and the Loughton Catalogue. The main Local Authority collections consist of extant local government archives, private papers, local newspaper from mid-19th century to the present day, many thousands of photographs and other images, maps & plans, local folksongs, early printed books, journals and other media relating to the history and heritage of Offaly. There is a catalogue of the Belmont Mill archives available.
This work is a major objective of the 2017-21 Offaly Heritage Plan and has been supported by the Heritage Council and Creative Ireland.
For weekly information on Offaly Archives follow the blog https://offalyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/
In 2014, the De Renzy papers from Tinnycross were conserved and catalogued. This is an important 17th collection of archives relating to lands at Tinnycross. Download the Derenzi Identity Statement by archivist Lisa Shortall.
Birr Castle Archives - The Rosse Papers are the papers of the Parsons family, baronets, Barons and Viscounts Oxmantown and Earls of Rosse of Birr Castle, Birr (alias Parsonstown), County Offaly. They run from c.1540 to 1991. They are held by Lord and Lady Rosse at Birr Castle. They have been professionally catalogued by A. P. W. Malcomson of PRONI and the catalogue is available to view in Offaly Library Service, Birr Castle Archives (by appointment). Research enquiries or requests to view the archive can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Library of Ireland has a considerable amount of material relating to county Offaly as does Trinity College Dublin, the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar and the National Archives of Ireland.
These are some of the main sources but there is material relating to Offaly in dozens of libraries and archives of public and private collections. If you have a specific area of interest do contact the local studies section of the Offaly Library Service or the Heritage office to see if we can be of assistance.