Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland
curated-collections-iconCurated Collection

Grand Jury Records and Maps

In partnership with Local Government Archivists and Records Managers

About this Collection

The archives of the Grand Jury, which in some cases span two centuries of Irish history, shine a light on social and political life at the most local of levels.

Before county councils were established, Grand Juries operated local government across the island of Ireland. This curated collection showcases these vital records, which contain a wealth of information about every corner of this island.

This collection springs from a partnership between the Virtual Treasury and Local Government Archivists and Records Managers, which began in 2021 and produced a publication entitled People, Place and Power: The Grand Jury System in Ireland:

Click the image above to access a virtual version of the booklet.

The very local nature of the Grand Jury system meant that records were spread across archives and libraries around the country. This presents the researcher with a challenge if their enquiry deals with more than one county. Before the collaboration between the LGARM and the Virtual Treasury, no comprehensive list of local Grand Jury records was readily available to the public. An important part of our joint work was to produce such a list. Dr Brian Gurrin’s provisional listing of all Grand Jury archives was first published in 2021, and is available at this link

Grand Jury collections are generally available at local archive services, or in libraries in the Republic of Ireland. There are also significant collections in the National Archives of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland. Some are already available to view online. The records of the grand jury survive in significant quantities across Ireland. They are of enormous value for local history and for understanding how the social character of Ireland was shaped at local level during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Much more remains to be found. Most counties published hundreds of copies of abstracts of presentments after assizes sittings, and many are likely to be discovered in boxes and cupboards in ‘big houses’ around the country. 

This curated collection enhances digital access to selected records of the Grand Jury held by local authorities across Ireland, as well as the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. It does by 

  • Bringing archives from multiple counties together as a single collection
  • Providing a dedicated Browse functionality, organised by repository
  • Using AI-generated Machine Transcription to provide full-text search of manuscripts and printed records

This is a dynamic resource. Additional digitised materials will be added to the collection, so check back in for the latest releases.

Collection Name: Grand Jury Maps and Archives

Stories from this Curated Collection