The Heritage archive of Irish Lights is a source not just of maritime history, but also for the wider social, political, military, engineering, architectural, scientific and administrative history of Ireland in the 19th & 20th centuries. Just as importantly, it is a source for personal and family history. Irish Lights employed countless generations around the coast of Ireland for over 2 centuries.
The earliest records in the Archive date back to 1810 when the Lighthouses (Ireland) Act extended the powers of The Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin to cover all powers, duties and functions relating to lighthouses around the coast of Ireland.
The record types held in the Archive include journals, registers, minute papers, correspondence, engineering plans and drawings, as well as photographs, audio-visual material, and publications.
A major project began in 2019 to preserve and catalogue the Archive. While this project is underway the Archive will be closed to researchers. When the collections are catalogued they will be made available. The Archive contains over one thousand volumes and two thousand boxes of administrative records. The Archive project is prioritising records of greatest historical significance.
When the records were created in the 19th and 20th centuries they were not divided according to each lighthouse but in common with other 19th century registry systems, the records were filed chronologically regardless of subject. It is only when the project is finished, that comprehensive searches of the Archive will be possible.In addition to routine preservation and cataloguing, a number specialised conservation and digitisation projects are currently ongoing.
Please keep an eye on the website for updates and see our regular Stories from the Archive series where interesting and unusual stories from the Archive and Heritage Collections are highlighted
For specific queries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org