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Special Collections: Collections

Special Collections is home to manuscripts, older printed books and unique & distinct collections.

Types of Special Collections

Special Collections holds the following types of collections:

  • Manuscripts: Gaelic Irish, English and other languages
  • Maps: estate maps, ordnance survey, city plans
  • Older Printed Books: books from 1476 - 1850 covering subjects such as theology, sciences and history.
  • Newspapers: available on microfilm and in bound volumes.
  • Prints: Topographical Prints
  • Named Collections: collections donated by individuals
  • Collections on a theme: Munster Printing, Transmissions and Transformations of the Ancient World, Humour
  • Collections from Printing Presses: Attic Press, Cork University Press, Cuala Press, Dolmen Press, Three Candles Press
  • Theses: Masters theses to 2013; PhD theses

Check with Special Collections staff for the finding aid for manuscripts on microfilm and the finding aid for paper manuscripts.

Selected Gaelic Irish manuscripts are available on Irish Script on Screen.These include Cín Lae Uí Mhealláin which is an account of the Irish Confederate Wars (1641 – 1647) written by Tarlach Ó Mealláin, OFM.

View the list of newspaper holdings.

Facts About Special Collections

  • Date range of collections: 15th century – present day 
  • Oldest book: Bruni’s Historia del Popolo Fiorentino (1476)
  • Oldest newspaper on microfilm: Freeman’s Journal (1763)
  • Oldest printed newspaper : Cork Evening PostCork Hibernian ChronicleCorke Journal (1769)

Opening Hours

30 December 2020- 5 March 2021: As per Irish Government direction from midnight 30 December 2020 all counties are placed on Level 5 under the Plan for Living with COVID-19. The advice is: Stay at home with certain exceptions. Please note this time frame may be extended. 

Update: 28 January 2021: From Monday 1 February we are offering the following as alternate means of access to Special Collections & Archives:

  • Scan & Deliver for Special Collections' material including items in the Reference Reading Room, Microform and items that show Special Collections by Request / Special Collections by Appointment on the library catalogue.
  • Reprographic requests for manuscripts & archival material via specialcollectionsarchives@ucc.ie

Every effort will be made to fulfil scan & deliver / reprographic types of requests, but this may not always be possible due to availability, copyright restrictions, size and condition of materials.

Previous appointment services in Special Collections and Archives are unavailable during Level 5.

If you have any queries relating to our collections please email specialcollectionsarchives@ucc.ie. This email address is monitored regularly.