Galway County Council


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Galway Local History

The Galway local history collection includes


Our Address

Library Headquarters
Island House
Cathedral Square

Phone, Fax and Email

Phone:00 353 91 562471
Fax:00 353 91 565039

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm


Is an Appointment Necessary?

It is advisable to make an appointment by phoning 00 353 91 562471 or faxing 00 353 91 565039 as some of the material requires the use of microform readers and these may have to be reserved in advance.



Online Resources on Galway History

Original Ordnance Survey Maps for Galway

The 1842 Ordnance Survey 6 Inch Maps for Galway are now available online. To view these maps, you will need to download and install an SVG plugin. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and the maps are in this format. The plugin is available from Adobe - SVG .

This project was commissioned by three organizations and the work was undertaken by Mr. Rainer Kosbi.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland website notes

"This massive undertaking ensured that Ireland was surveyed and mapped with a degree of thoroughness and accuracy unique for its time in the world."

In addition, the Ireland's Historical Mapping Archive website states

"It was a remarkable feat by remarkable men and the accuracy they attained is still marvelled at today. The process involved both innovation and ingenuity."


The Down Survey of Ireland

Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world. The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish in order to facilitate its redistribution to Merchant Adventurers and English soldiers

Ordnance Survey Place Name Books for Galway

In 1838, John O'Donovan was commissioned to list the place names of Ireland. For each place name, he listed variations of its name, its irish form, its translation, its situation, and a brief description. At present, we are putting the O'Donovan Place Names of Galway on the web.

Lawrence Family Album

The Lawrence Family, of Lisreaghan, also known as Belview, owned extensive land in the east county Galway region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and founded the village of Lawrencetown.

The Album, an important archive, is a wonderful history, pictorial and textual, of the family and the district of Lawrencetown. It is a treasure trove in terms of its value to local history containing so much rich detail on the family, together with late nineteenth century photographs of the village of Lawrencetown, family portraits and interior views of the house. The Album reveals so much about an era and a family which have long since disappeared but which played an important part in the development of the local landscape.

This album is now available, in its entirety, on the Ask About Ireland website.

Other sites on Galway's History

Web sites dealing with Genealogy and Galway's history is a web page that briefly outlines other resources on Galway's history and on genealogy. Clicking the above link will open the web page in a new window. To return to this page simply close the window.

Galway Reader is a web site consisting of articles on Galway's history. It was edited by Samuel J. Maguire and was compiled in the 1950's. It is now available online. Clicking the above link will open the web page in a new window. To return to this page simply close the window.

Irish Newspaper Archives is a database of national and regional newspapers from centuries gone by. It includes newspapers from Galway. The database is searchable. It is also possible to browse the collection by newspaper title and date.

Online Books on Galway's History

A number of books on Galway's history are available online at . These books include