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About Cork This web site explores and celebrates the commercial and industrial heritage of Cork through its historical archives. Cork has a proud heritage as a city of enterprise and trade, as a maritime city… a city of merchants. Over 800 years ago, the citizens of Cork were granted extensive liberties to trade. This long history of commercial endeavour is reflected in the surviving archives of the city, held at Cork City and County Archives. The items found here include the minute books of the Cork Committee of Merchants, the correspondence of the Cork Distilleries Company, the shipping ledgers of R&H Hall Corn Merchants and the City of Cork Steampacket Company, and the day to day records of the Cork Butter Market, as well as personal archives and old photographs of various people and places in Cork city and county.

The city of Cork straddles the River Lee on the south coast of Ireland. It has its origins in a 6th century monastic foundation attributed to St. Finbar and eventually grew into a walled settlement on islands in the estuary. In fact, the name Cork comes from the Irish work Corcaigh meaning marsh.

The geographical location of Cork was vital to its expansion. Located at the head of one of the finest natural harbours in the world, it was also at the crossroads of trade between northern Europe and the Americas and further afield. This location was vital to the growth of the city, particularly from the 18th century when Cork moved ahead of rival local ports such as Kinsale and Youghal.

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