Guide to our Collection

Guide to our Collection

Cavan Studies / Resources

Johnston Central Library is home to the single most important resource for the study of the history, literature, and culture of County Cavan.

Acknowledged as one of the foremost collections in Ireland, we have utilised cutting edge technology to ensure the preservation, conservation, and better service delivery of the collection.

Technological advances in recent decades have complimented the volume of records now available to research online. This unique collection began over ninety years ago and continues to be built upon.

We collect all published material relating to Cavan by local authors and all published material on Cavan in all formats and on all subjects including agriculture, archaeology, architecture, the arts, biographies, local sport & religion to name but a few!

Your best starting point to begin exploring Cavan's Local History, is our Catalogue! Check out Cavan Subject Headings - you will be amazed at the range of subjects covered. Search our Catalogue

Digitised Material


Materials of unique value have been digitised with the aim of developing a ‘Virtual’ Local Studies experience. Digitised content can be accessed at History Online 



Local newspapers, including The Anglo Celt (1846- ) are available on microfilm in Johnston Central Library and can also be accessed at Irish News Archive in branches with public computer access.

More details, can be found at  Newspaper Holding pdf (33.0kb) to view our collection. See also History Online to discover and access national and local newspaper archives.



Johnston Central Library maintains an extensive microfilm collection which includes Census for 1821, 1841, 1901 and 1911; O’Donovan’s Name books 1833/34; and Books of Survey and Distribution.

View our collection on Microfilm Holding pdf  



Our Cavan Journal Collection includes the Breifny Antiquarian Society Journal; Heart of Breifne; and Breifne, the Journal of Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne. Search our Catalogue, and History Online to discover and access international journals.




Our map collection includes:

• 1654-1659 Down Survey Parish (Microfilm)
• 1835/1836 Ordnance Survey 6” (Hardcopy)
• Griffith Valuation (Hardcopy)
• Farnham Estate Maps (Hardcopy)
• Ballinamore/Ballconnell Drainage and navigation Maps (Hardcopy)
• Cavan Leitrim Railway Maps (Hardcopy)
See also History Online to explore web versions of Ordnance Survey and Griffith Valuation maps.


Bishop MacKiernan Collection

The library of Bishop Francis J. MacKiernan consists of more than 2,000 volumes. His generous donation has added considerably to a local studies collection which is acknowledged as one of the most impressive and wide ranging in the country. 

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