Guide to Post 1840 Collections

Printer-friendly version


Under the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840 the City Council was placed on an entirely new footing. The City’s franchise was widened to include all rate-payers with a valuation of more than £10 annually thereby lifting the restrictions and allowing anyone with the necessary property qualifications to stand for membership. Daniel O’Connell was the first person to be elected Lord Mayor of Dublin under this franchise.

Dublin City Council Minutes & Reports

Marino Housing Scheme, 1918 - 1924The work of the City Council and its committees are outlined in minutes and reports, which exist in the following formats: -

Examples of some 19th century committees

  • Artisans’ Dwellings Committee
  • Cleansing Committee
  • Estates & Finance Committee
  • Finance & Leases Committee
  • General Purposes Committee
  • Markets Committee
  • Paving & Lighting Committee
  • Public Health Committee
  • Waterworks Committee

Examples of some 20th century committees

  • Art Advisory Committee
  • Bridges Committee
  • Cultural Committee
  • Electricity Supply Committee
  • Housing Committee
  • Libraries Advisory Committee
  • Lighting Committee
  • Roads & Streets Committee
  • Town Planning and Street Committee


Dublin City Council Bye- Laws

The elected members of Local Authorities have the powers to make subsidiary or local legislations in relation to certain functions known as bye-laws.  We have initiated a project to digitse Bye-Laws which have been deposited with Dublin City Library and Archives and to make these freely available online.

Dublin City Council Building By-Laws 1949.   (PDF 67MB) Cannot access PDF?


Dublin Mansion House Relief Fund 1880

Dublin Mansion House Famine Relief Fund, 1880Edmund Dwyer Gray, Lord Mayor of Dublin, set up the Dublin Mansion House Relief Fund on 2 January 1880 for the relief of distress in Ireland. Successive failures of harvests from 1877 – 1879 led to widespread devastation and hunger, historically known as the "little famine" of 1880.

The work of the fund was administered by a voluntary central committee and moneys were raised in Europe, North America, India and Australia. It was an all-Ireland relief fund with over 800 local committees set up in the thirty-two counties, of which membership of clergy of all denominations and poor-law medical officers was a pre-requisite. The central committee provided funds to voluntary committees who distributed in kind, supplying Indian Meal, turf and clothes to the most needy. The "Little Famine" lasted a comparatively short time, autumn 1880 yielded a good harvest and the Mansion House Fund was no longer required for the relief of distress. It was wound up in December of that year.

Rathmines and Rathgar Township Archives 1847 – 1930

Rathmines and Rathgar Township ArchivesRathmines Township was created in 1847 by Act of Parliament. In 1862, under the Rathmines and Rathgar Improvement Act, the townlands of Rathgar and Sandymount (which included the present-day Ranelagh) were added and re-named the Rathmines and Rathgar Township.

This was further extended in 1866 to include Uppercross and in 1880 to include Milltown. Initially the Township was created as a sanitary area but new functions were added over time and the Township became responsible for public lighting, water supply, drainage and the erection of a number of small housing schemes. Under the Local Government (Dublin) Act of 1930 the Rathmines and Rathgar Township became part of the City of Dublin and its administration was taken over by Dublin City Council.

Pembroke Township Archives 1863 - 1930

Caretakers House, Ringsend Park. Elevation by Edwin Bradbury, Architect 1907. Pembroke Urban District CouncilThe Pembroke Township was created in 1863; in 1898 under the Local Government Act it became the Pembroke Urban District Council. Its jurisdiction covered the present-day areas of Donnybrook, Ballsbridge, Sandymount and Ringsend. In 1930 the Pembroke Urban District Council became part of the jurisdiction of the City of Dublin and its administration was taken over by Dublin City Council. This area was originally part of the estate of the Earl of Pembroke and the collection includes legal documents from Lord Pembroke to Dublin City Council. The collection also includes minute books and correspondence.

The Civics Institute of Ireland 1914 – 1960

The Civics Institute fostered the concept of town planning in Ireland and set up the Dublin Civic Survey Committee. In the 1930s the Institute extended its activities to include the establishment of Children's playgrounds and co-operated in the foundation of a Social Studies course in Trinity College Dublin.

Dublin City Electoral Lists

Electoral Lists (also called Voters' Registration) list the names and addresses of people eligible to vote in Dáil elections, local elections and from the 1970s in European Elections. The Franchise section within Dublin City Council is responsible for the production of the register of electors who reside within the Corporation's administrative boundaries. The Electoral Lists are searchable by address only and there are gaps within the series.

- Electoral Lists 1908 - 1915 Online

This Dublin City Electoral Lists Database is a Dublin City Council project. It is the first part of a wider project to digitise all of the Dublin City Council Electoral Rolls 1898-1916 for inclusion in a forthcoming database connected to literary Dublin and to Centenary Commemorations for 1913-1916. The database is fully searchable and is useful for family history, local history and social history.

- Electoral Lists 1938 - 1964 Online

This Dublin City Electoral Lists database was created as part of the Celtic Trí project, part-funded by the EU Interreg programme. These records list all those registered to vote in Dublin city in Dáil and local elections, for use in polling stations at election time. This online database covers the years 1938-1964.

  • The Dublin City Electoral Lists 1937-64 have been taken down from  For more information, please e-mail

C2/Lib/KK: Kevin Street Library Collection (1899-1995)

Records created and received by Kevin Street Library that date prior to the foundation of library in 1904 and highlight the daily activity in the library throughout the twentieth century, including tumultuous periods such as World War I, Easter Rising, and the Emergency in Ireland. The collection includes letters and ephemera from publishing companies, bookbinders, lithographers, repair workshops, and members of the public.  Material relating to library staff provides information on the duties carried out, the hours worked, wages earned and the relationship between Kevin Street Library and other cultural institutions and Dublin City Council.  The collection also contains material relating and J.P. Whelan, the first head librarian at Kevin Street Library and to the foundation of Cumann na Leabharlann Note: Some records containing personal information are closed to public access under data protection legislation.
Kevin Street Library Archive Descriptive List (PDF, 189KB) Cannot access PDF?

The Bombing of Ireland during the Emergency 1940 - 1941

On the 26 August 1940 German Aircraft dropped their first bombs on Ireland, destroying a creamery in Co. Wexford and killing three people. Further bombs were dropped along the east coast during the first three days of January 1941. Dublin City was hit for the first time on the 2 January in the Donore area around the South Circular Road and Terenure was hit the following night. There was damage done to a number of properties in these areas.

On the night of 31 May 1941, four high-explosive bombs were dropped by German aircraft on the North Strand area of Dublin City. The casualties were many: 28 dead and 90 injured, with 300 houses damaged or destroyed. This collection contains the Council records regarding the reaction, clean-up operations and the re-housing of those who lost their homes in the bombings. It includes photographs of the North Strand in the aftermath of the bombings.