Although the administrative area of South Dublin County came into existence in 1994, the area it serves has a rich and varied history. Man has inhabited this area since Neolithic times and there is evidence of habitation throughout the major eras of history.
In order to serve users who wish to study the development of South Dublin County and its rich history and heritage, the main Local Studies Collection is held at the County Library, Tallaght. The collection includes over 10,000 books, periodicals, audio-visual material, photographs, prints and maps relating to the history and social, demographic and economic development of South Dublin County. Smaller collections are held in branch libraries. The collection can be searched on the South Dublin Libraries catalogue.
South Dublin Historical Mapping allows you to view an area over time using various collections of maps that date back the 1700s. Trace an address or townland over time on our map viewer.
Please visit the Maps for Research page for a listing of our collection of in-branch maps.
South Dublin County History
South Dublin County History gives an overview of the history of South Dublin’s villages, and includes maps, walking tours and images. The area we serve includes Tallaght, Clondalkin, Lucan, Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Rathcoole, Saggart, Newcastle and Palmerstown.
Visit www.southdublinhistory.ie to get a history of these areas. The site also includes bibliographies for the further study of each area.
Looking to research your Family History - check out this page
A collection of over 5,000 images, books, audio material, maps, ephemera, etc. digitized and available for download.
Please visit our Local Collections page for a listing of our in-branch physical collections.
The database takes its name from the publication from which the biographies and images were sourced. The biographical details and photographs contained in the “Our Heroes” supplement are now available for the first time, free to search online. It also contains details of the dates of death and final place of burial or commemoration, which were not included in the original work.
This project is a valuable addition to Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations(2013-2023). Historians, researchers and students alike will find this resource a valuable tool, allowing interrogation of the original text to find not only servicemen's names, but everything that was contained in the original biographies - school names, rugby clubs, counties and much more besides.
The information contained within this database has all-Ireland importance. It is a snapshot of a cross section of the Irish officer class of the British Army, alongside the privates and NCOs listed among them who bravely distinguished themselves in the field or were killed in action.
Ask About Ireland
Ask About Ireland is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitization and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies collections to create a national internet resource for culture. It also includes a digital library of books on Irish history and provides access to Griffith’s Valuation online. South Dublin Libraries have contributed material to the website, on a wide range of subjects, from the flight of the Bremen, to the flora and fauna of our parks. Go to South Dublin Libraries content on Ask About Ireland
The Irish Times Digital Archive
The Irish Times Digital Archive features exact reproductions of all articles published by the Irish Times from 1859 onwards. This resource can only be accessed on computers in our branch libraries.
The Irish Newspaper Archive
The Irish Newspaper Archive is the world's largest online database of Irish Newspapers, Search, retrieve and view Ireland's past exactly as it was originally published. This resource can only be accessed on computers in County Library, Tallaght only.
Local History files
A file on most of the civil parishes of South Dublin County is available at the County Library, Tallaght. Each file consists of miscellaneous material from periodicals, newspapers, books, pamphlets and other sources. They provide a good starting point for a study of a particular area and are shelved in box files at LH 941.83. Books on the history of the South Dublin County area can also be found here. A selection of publications on the local history of the area can be downloaded from Source. South Dublin County includes all or part of the following civil parishes:
Journals and Periodicals
The following journals and periodicals are held. All journals and periodicals are shelved at the end of the Local Studies Collection sequence. Access to JSTOR's Ireland Collection of periodicals is also provided on computers in all library branches.
Dublin Historical Record
Irish Ancestor (ceased publication in 1995)
Irish Ecclesiastical Record
Irish Family History
Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland
Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Tallaght Magazine (no longer published)
The Templeogue Telegraph (no longer published) is available in Source
Back issues of the Tallaght Echo, from 1994-present are held at the County Library in hard copy.
Current issues of the Echo can be viewed here
The Irish Times Digital Archive can be accessed on all computers in all branch libraries through and The Irish Newspaper Archive provides access to the archives of many provincial newspapers as well as the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and the Freeman’s Journal. This is accessible on the computers in the County Library in Tallaght only.
The Tallaght Press is available on Source.
A collection of newspapers on microfilm are also available at the County Library:
Dublin Evening Post 1778 – 1805, 1811-1814, 1824 and 1859
The Freeman’s Journal 1763 – 1867, 1770 – 1806
Schools Folklore Collection
The Schools' Scheme of 1937-1938, devised by the Irish Folklore Commission represented one of the greatest initiatives ever undertaken in the field of folklore collecting in Ireland. Over a period of eighteen months, primary school pupils researched and recorded material dealing with a wide range of Irish folk tradition, from folk tales and folk legends, riddles and proverbs, songs, customs and beliefs to games and pastimes as well as descriptions of traditional work practices and crafts. The County Library holds microfilm copies of the material collected by schools in South Dublin County which are as follows:
Edmondstown Boys N.S., Rathfarnham
Edmondstown Girls N.S., Rathfarnham
Presentation Convent, Lucan
Lucan Boys N.S.
Glenasmole Boys N.S.
St. Mary’s, Tallaght
Presentation Convent, Clondalkin
Rathfarnham Boys N.S.
The County Library holds collections of the works of local authors Katharine Tynan, Charles Lever, Austin Clarke, Patrick Pearse and Liam C. Martin. An almost complete set of the works of Katharine Tynan is held.
An almost complete set of Thom's Directories is held in the County Library along with copies of its predecessor, The Treble Almanack.The South Dublin County village listings from our entire collection of Thom's Directories is available to search and download in Source.
Local Studies Blog
Rathfarnham Colouring Book
This colouring book, featuring Leon the Lion, brings you around some of the amazing historic sites of Rathfarnham. The full book is available to download here (.pdf, 5mb) and a print-friendly version with just the colouring sheets is available to download here (.pdf, 14mb)