Maps, Files and Ephemera

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The library houses a collection of maps of ancient and modern Dublin from the 17th century to the present day. From Speed's map of 1610 to Rocque's map of 1756, through to the Dublin City Development plans of today this collection traces the growth of the capital city. Maps of Ireland and the counties are also held.

View a representative sample of historic maps of Dublin

Dublin City Public Libraries - View my 'historicalmaps' photos on Flickriver

View Historical Maps of Dublin on flickr

Maps Online

Ordnance Survey Ireland's Digital Historic Map Viewer is available online in the Reading Room. It features hundreds of maps including the 6 inch mapping series (1837 to 1842) and the 25 inch mapping series (1887 to 1913) for the Republic of Ireland.

Local History Files and Newspaper Files

The library holds files, compiled on an ongoing basis, on topics, events and places. Local history files include copies of newspaper articles, periodical articles, source references and ephemera to do with topics and places such as streets, churches or local areas. These provide a helpful starting point for the local studies researcher. Newspaper files provide coverage of a specific event in history. These cover a range of political, sporting and other events, and will be of particular interest to students embarking on their Leaving Certificate History Research Study.

Local History Files and Newspaper Files (PDF, 2.3 MB)  Cannot access PDF?


Ephemeral material is collected on an on-going basis. Among a wide range of items, this includes political cartoons, programmes and playbills from plays and musicals staged in the Dublin theatres, and Irish sports programmes for Gaelic football and hurling, soccer, rugby and swimming.

  • Theatre ProgrammesGaiety Theatre Programme, 1892
    The library follows the development of theatre in Dublin with a collection of programmes and playbills from plays and musicals staged between 1828 and 2005 in Dublin theatres such as the Abbey, the Gaiety, the Gate, the Olympia, the Peacock, Queen’s Theatre and the Theatre Royal.
  • Sports Programmes
    As well as journals such as Gaelic Sport, World Soccer, and The Irish Field the library collects sports programmes from soccer, rugby, Gaelic football, hurling and swimming events.
  • Political, social and business ephemera
    Political cartoons, pamphlets of 1799/1800 for and against the Union, recent election ephemera, Irish political ephemera and photographs from 1864 to 1942, leaflets, posters and flyers for events such as Dublin’s Millennium 1988 and Dublin Capital of Culture 1991, among many other items, are collected to build a picture of Dublin through the years.

The Weekly Freeman, 1887 cartoon supplementTwo collections, the Dublin Business Ephemera and the Social Ephemera Collections, include items such as bills, receipts and catalogues from 1885 to the late 1900s, from businesses such as Hamilton, Long and Co., The Hibernian Bank and Alex Findlater and Company, and printed portraits, some with biographical sketches, of historical persons such as Charles Joseph Kickham (Fenian and Young Irelander), Charles Hyland (Manager of Gaiety Theatre) and Rev. Theobald Mathew (Franciscan and Apostle of Temperance).