Cork City Library

Address: Grand Parade

Open 10am to 5.30pm

Cork was the first Irish city to adopt the Public Libraries (Ireland) Act, 1855, but it was not until 1892 that the then Cork Corporation established a public library, in what is now the Crawford Municipal Gallery. In 1905, the Library service moved from Emmet Place to a new building in Anglesea Street designed by architect Henry A. Cutler, then City Surveyor. That library, although funded by Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, was built on a site provided by the Corporation on Anglesea Street, adjoining City Hall. Only fifteen years later, however, during the War of Independence, the building, along with many other city-centre buildings, was destroyed by arson attacks started during the night of 10/11 December 1920 by British armed forces.

After the burning of the Anglesea Street library, the city was without a public lending library for almost four years, until a lending service was restored in temporary premises in no. 2 Tuckey Street, at the end of September 1924.


Ten years after the burning of the Carnegie Library, a new purpose-built library was constructed with a façade in the Hiberno-Romanesque style at no. 57 Grand Parade. It opened to the public in September 1930. The library was built mainly on the site of former warehouses between Tuckey Street and Kift’s Lane; to this day this space forms the nucleus of the City Library. In the mid to late 70s, The City Library was redeveloped with much greater street frontage, at 57—61 Grand Parade, where it remains today.

Mary Elmes: a talk by Anne Twomey of the Shandon Area History Group at 11am. No booking required.

Memoir of an Irish Jew, a talk by Yvonne Cohen on her father Lionel Cohen at 12pm. No booking required

 Cycling Cities, past history of cycling in Cork with Kevin Long at 2.30pm. No booking required.

A guided tour of the built heritage of the city with Antoin O'Callaghan will leave the City Library at 2pm. Booking essential. Click here to book tickets Cork Heritage Open Day Built Heritage Tour