Irish Towns: A Guide to Sources consists of ten chapters by specialist authors on the cartographic, documentary, material and literary sources available for the study of Irish towns and their inhabitants through the centuries. Each chapter is amply illustrated with both line-drawings and photographs and also has a detailed bibliography. The book is enhanced by the inclusion of an extensive list of publications arranged by theme and town, respectively, as an appendix.
- Chapter one begins with an introduction to the development of towns in Ireland, a short guide to the major repositories and a review of the territorial divisions by which town sources were organised.
- Chapter two is concerned with maps, prints, drawings and photographs.
- Chapter three examines the built environment as a source.
- Chapter four discusses medieval and plantation records.
- Chapter five reviews the records of local and central government from c.1600.
- Chapter six assesses estate records.
- Chapter seven looks at records from the various religious denominations.
- Chapter eight stresses the importance of newspapers, directories and gazetteers.
- Chapter nine draws in literary works in Irish and English.
- Chapter ten provides examples of how two scholars, Anngret Simms and Frank McCorry, pursued research in the towns of Kells, County Meath, and Lurgan, County Armagh, respectively.
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