Cork City

Services and Programmes

Alf O'Brien Collection

Alf O’Brien was a lecturer in the Department of Medieval History in University College Cork. He was a recognised authority on medieval Ireland particularly on economic trade between Ireland, Britain and continental Europe. Prior to his death he contributed his papers, research materials and his library to Cork City Libraries on the condition that the collection would be available to researchers, students and the public. The collection of over 1,000 books and more that 540 folders can be consulted in the Reference Library, Grand Parade.  Read more:   Alf O'Brien
Alf O'Brien Book List
Alf O'Brien Notes
Frances O'Brien and Liam Ronayne
Mrs Frances O’Brien receiving a bound copy of the catalogue of books and other items in the library of her late husband, Mr Alf O’Brien, from Cork City Librarian Liam Ronayne, at the formal handing over of the Alf O’Brien library to Cork City Libraries in October 2012


ChildCare Collection

Barnardos Resource Centre in Cork has transferred its collection to the Reference Department . The combined childcare resources of Barnardos and the Reference Department will benefit…..

  • students of childcare
  • childcare practitioners
  • parents

The collection contains books, reports, journals, resource packs etc. Children’s books dealing with racism, bereavement, bullying, health and other social issues also feature.

Dance Collection

 Aruba Coghlan has been a leading figure in dance in Cork for many years. She’s a noted ballet teacher, choreographer and collector of books. She kindly donated 500 books, magazines and theatre programmes that she has collected over the years to Cork City Libraries.    

Highlights of our general collection


  • books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, business directories, official publications, maps
  • books and periodicals on Irish themes — history, travel, archaeology, nature, art, folklore, etc
  • current and older files of journals, magazines and Sunday, daily, & weekly newspapers
  • Library staff also index newspapers and periodicals, and continually update subject files of newspaper articles for use by students and other enquirers.  Indexes of newspaper/periodical articles are available online, and can be searched online by selecting the “Periodicals/Newspapers” tab of the online catalogue.
    More comprehensive online indexing covers articles published since 1996.  Indexes to articles prior to that date are being retrospectively transferred from an older card index to the online database on an ongoing basis.
  • General information on British, European, and international topics
  • Digital information from online databases, such as Britannica online, the Internet and selected CD-ROMs
  • Files on social welfare entitlements, consumer information, and much more.
  • JSTOR  —   An online archive of academic journals and other scholarly content. Cork City Libraries provides free in-house access to JSTOR's Ireland Collection of almost 100 journals within JSTOR.