Cork City

Services and Programmes

We Recommend: Websites

The World Wide Web is an impressive source of information, education and entertainment from the millions of sites available.  Almost every imaginable topic is dealt with somewhere on the web.  To the newcomer, the sheer quantity of information on the Web can be overwhelming.  Staff members at Cork City Libraries compiled a list of the following websites, on a variety of topics, which we hope you will find useful.  Cork City Libraries cannot guarantee the accuracy of information on the World Wide Web.  Click on a topic of your choice in the column below to list selected websites on that topic .


  • Ad* Access. A web site devoted to images and advertisements from Canadian and U.S. newspapers between 1911 and 1955. The site has five main subject areas: radio, television, beauty, hygiene, transportation and World War Two.


  • Artcyclopedia is one of the best guides to great art on the web.
  • is a guide to online resources on the fine arts.
  • The web site of the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery in Cork is an excellent site which includes information about exhibitions, a short history of the gallery, information about the permanent collection and a selection of images of some of the artefacts in the gallery.
  • The web site of the famous Hermitage Gallery in Saint Petersburg is a splendid site with a high-resolution digital collection showing images of hundreds of the more than three million artefacts held in the Hermitage.
  • The web site of the Louvre Museum includes a virtual tour of the Louvre, information on the collections in the museum and a selection of photographs of the artefacts in the museum.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a timeline of the history of art, an ‘explore and learn’ section, an image of a different work of art from the permanent collection every day and a selection of high-resolution online images with facilities for enlarging and zooming.
  • The web site of the National Gallery of Ireland
  • The web site of the National Gallery in London has a section entitled ‘Collection Online’ which includes a selection of images from the gallery and a beginner’s guide with background information on religious stories and classical myths depicted in the paintings.
  • The Tate Online has over sixty five thousand images online and links to Tate Modern, Tate Britain , Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives. A helpful feature is an A to Z glossary of terms used in the description of works of art.
  • The Virtual Uffizi is the web site of the renowned Uffizi Gallery in Florence . It has hundreds of images of the paintings in its collection and helpful links to biographies of all the artists whose works are shown.


  • Astronomy Picture of the Day features outstanding photographs of stars, planets, galaxies and other celestial bodies. A new photograph is shown every day with a brief and informative commentary.
  • Bad Astronomy is a site dedicated to correcting wrong ideas about astronomy.
  • The web site of the Cork Astronomy Club has news about the activities of the club and links to other sites on astronomy.
  • The web site of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University is a useful site with extensive links to other sites on astronomy and astrophysics on the web.
  • Irish Astronomy is the web site of the Irish Federation of Local Astronomical Societies. It has links to the web sites of astronomical societies in Ireland and is also a very good source of information on astronomy in general.
  • The NASA web site is one of the best and most popular sites on astronomy on the web. It carries information on all NASA missions and has sections for students and researchers.
  • The Nine Planets is a marvellous web site on the solar system which features a multi-media tour of the planets. If you have any questions about the solar system there’s a very good chance of finding the answer here.
  • Sky and Telescope is the web site of the magazine Sky and Telescope. As well as carrying up-to-the minute news on astronomy, the site has an excellent guide for newcomers to the subject.
  • Spaceflight Now is an excellent site with up-to-date information on the latest developments in astronomy and space flight.
  • Eric Weisstein’s World of Astronomy is a well laid out web site on astronomy and astrophysics which has good definitions of terms used in those subjects. It is quite technical and is definitely not for the mathematically faint-of-heart.


  • :
    Contains over 25,000 brief biographies of notable personalities from antiquity to the present. Entries include dates, career information, and alternate spellings/versions of the name. Searchable and browsable.
  • Biography Center has indexed over 11,000 online biographies.

Book Awards.

Books and Literature (See also: Books & Literature Texts Online, below)

  • Abebooks is a good site for tracing rare books.
  • The British version of the Amazon website is an excellent site for sourcing details of newly published books
  • Book Lovers is a web site which has extensive links to sites dealing with literature, rare books, printing and other aspects of the world of literature. Book Lovers also features links to web sites where online texts are available.
  • The Eason site is good for finding details of books published in Ireland.
  • e-Bay sells books as well as many other types of consumer goods.
  • Guardian Books Top 10s. An entertaining and informative site maintained by the Guardian newspaper in which well-known writers pick their ten favourite books in different categories.
  • Literary Resources on the Net is a superb gateway site to literary web sites.
  • Kirjastro is an award-winning site devoted to literature. You will find short biographies of hundreds of writers from Virgil up to the latest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The entries on the writers also include select bibliographies of the works of the writers and lists of recommended books on the writers.
  • The Literary Encyclopedia is an online encyclopedia which has over 2500 entries on writers written by contemporary scholars and researchers. A subscription is required for complete access. As well as providing excellent summaries of the lives and works of the writers, the entries have extensive bibliographies and links to other sites dealing with the featured writers. Visitors to the site, which has new records entered on a weekly basis, may also search by topic or by the title of a literary work.
  • New York Review of Books web site. The NYRB is one of the most prestigious literary periodicals in the world. Its web site allows free access to a selection of the articles published in the periodical.
  • The website of the popular BBC Radio 4 programme Open Book has booklists of new fiction and non-fiction and the facility to listen to recent programmes in the series. An unusual feature of the site is the Reading Clinic. Visitors to the site can e-mail any book-related query to the clinic.
  • The Voice of the Shuttle web site is an outstanding gateway site to resources on the humanities and sciences on the web. It includes links to many sites on books and literature. The name of the site comes from the myth of Philomela ( who told the story of her rape and disfigurement in a tapestry woven on a shuttle.

Books & Literature Texts Online

  • is a marvellous resource for online books on many literary and literature-related topics. It includes online guides to English usage, dictionaries, dictionaries of quotation and much else. It incorporates a powerful search engine.
  • CELT is the web site of the Corpus of Electronic Texts on Ireland and features a searchable database of online texts.
  • Project Gutenberg is the web site of the longest established provider of free electronic books on the web. There are more than 15,000 e-Books available on the site and the collection is growing continually. The books available on the site are older literary works in the public domain in the U.S.A.
  • Questia is an online commercial digital library of books and articles with an academic orientation.  Monthly or annual subscriptions allow temporary online reading access to millions of journal and newspaper articles and almost one hundred thousand books.  Tables of contents, first page of each chapter, search of library contents, and information from public domain works are provided free.

Children & Teenagers

  • is a version of the popular search engine modified for kids and teens.
  • Astronomy for kids is an excellent site on astronomy for young people.
  • Berit’s Best provides links to some of the best web sites for children.
  • CBeebies is a BBC site for young children with games, songs, e-cards and lots more.
  • Enchanted is a very comprehensive resource for activities for children ranging right across the world of learning. There are online dictionaries available, fun calendars, games and hundreds of other resources.
  • A site with many links to colouring pages for children.
  • Homeworkspot lists sites which children might find useful for homework. While it is American orientated it is quite useful.
  • is an excellent site for children which lists some of the best educational sites on the web.
  • Inside Art invites children to join in an adventure story and learn about the history of art as they play the game.
  • The kids and teens section of the Internet Public Library site is one of the best guides to the web for young people.
  • Kaboose is a gateway site to the World Wide Web for kids and teens. The sites have been chosen by librarians.
  • Kidsdomain has pages on games, crafts, activities and reviews of books and software for children.
  • The Learning Planet is a site designed with younger children in mind.
  • is a site with advice for parents and teenagers on the safe use of the internet.  
  • is very useful for Irish students at first and second levels. It includes material on the junior and senior cycle, advice on preparing for exams, tips about CAO choices and links to other useful sites. Definitely worth exploring.
  • Sparknotes has study-guide notes written by graduates and students on many subjects. It is designed for teenagers.
  • In, Barbara Feldman, a syndicated newspaper columnist, gives her choice of the best sites on the web for children and teenagers.
  • Teenreads is a very good site for teenage readers. It has features on popular authors, reviews and details about new books for teens.
  • Topmarks is a homework-help site for younger children.
  • is an Irish site launched in February 2006 with advice for parents and children on the safe use of the Internet. It is the internet safety initiative of the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE).
  • Webwise is the BBC’s guide to the Internet and computing. It’s aimed mainly at young people but has good, clear information useful to all ages.
  • Young Adult Authors provides links to the websites of some of the most popular young adult writers.

Computers and the Internet

  • is a site which gives advice on problems with Microsoft Windows. The information is supplied by actual users of Microsoft Windows.
  • The BBC’s Webwise is the BBC’s guide to the Internet and computing. It’s aimed mainly at young people but has good, clear information useful to all ages.
  • The web site of the magazine Computeractive which avoids the use of computer jargon whenever possible. It has a particularly good web page with advice on how to deal with common problems with computers.
  • Epinions is one of the best sites to find out what other computer users think about the different models of desktop and notebook computers, digital cameras, software and other products.
  • Gizmodo is an entertaining web site with information on the latest computer hardware and other electronic devices.
  • The Guardian’s Technology section is a mine of information on news from the world of computing. The articles are written in the lucid style which characterises the newspaper.
  • The History of Computing website is a marvellous source of information about the people, the software and the hardware which have been important in the development of computers and the World Wide Web. It even includes a history of video games.
  • Living Internet provides a guide to the history, design and use of the Internet.
  • Mini-Microsoft is the popular blog that comments on events at Microsoft.
  • An award-winning online dictionary explaining terms and acronyms related to the Internet and the World Wide Web.
  • PC Webopedia. An online dictionary of terms related to computers and the internet.
  • Safe Teens - A web site with advice for parents and teenagers on the safe use of the internet.
  • is a site which all computer geeks should visit for the latest news from the world of computing.
  • Web Pages That Suck is a hilarious but informative look at how not to design a web site. It teaches the principles of good web design by looking at badly designed web sites.
  • Technorati is a search engine that searches over 25 million web logs or blogs. It’s probably the best guide to the ‘blogsphere’.
  • Webwise is an Irish site launched on 07 Feb 2006 with advice for parents and children on the safe use of the Internet. It is the internet safety initiative of the National Centre for Technology in Education. (NCTE)
  • Wired is an online magazine with informative articles on computing, electronics, science and the impact of ICT on society.
  • One of the most popular sites for news, reviews, advice on downloads, blogs, and other computer-related activities.

Conversion sites

Cork Historical Societies.


  • The Online Etymology Dictionary traces the history of thousands of English words.
  • Onelook searches over 5 million words in over 900 online dictionaries.
  • Rhymezone is a rhyming dictionary. Type a word in a search box to find its rhymes, synonyms and definitions.
  • Your Dictionary is a gateway site to thousands of dictionaries. It also includes a games room and a forum where visitors can discuss issues related to language.


  • The Citizens Information Board provides citizens information for the general public, support for voluntary and statutory organisations, and information on social policy and research.
  • The newly redesigned web site of Cork City Council provides a wealth of information on the services provided by the council and on other services available to the public.
  • The web site of Cork County Council
  • The Government of Ireland web site has information about all the services provided by the Irish Government and includes a search engine that searches all government sites.
  • The web site of the Health Services Executive which took over operational responsibility for running Ireland ’s health and personal social services on 1 January 2005 .
  • The OASIS web site (Online Access to Services, Information and Support) is an Irish Government site providing information on the social and civil rights and on the public services available to everyone in Ireland .
  • The National Car Testing Service Ltd. Web site.
  • Reachservices is a new Irish Government portal site for public services in Ireland delivered by the Reach Agency.


  • The Columbia Encyclopedia has over 50,000 entries on a wife range of topics.
  • Wikipedia is the famous free encyclopedia which is maintained by enthusiasts on particular topics.. It has been compared favourably to the Enclopedia Britannica.

European Union

  • Europa is a gateway site with up-to-date and comprehensive information on all aspects of the European Union.




  • The web site of the Commonwealth War Graves Association has a database listing the 1,700,000 men and women who died while serving in the Commonwealth forces during the two world wars. It is an essential site for anyone whose ancestors served in the Commonwealth forces during those wars.
  • The homepage of the Cork Genealogical Society is an excellent resource for those whose ancestors came from County Cork . The web site has advice about genealogical research in the Cork area and links to a number of useful sites including some created by members of the society.
  • Cyndi’s List is one of the most popular genealogical web sites and one of the longest established.
  • The Ellis Island site has a searchable database of immigrants who arrived in New York between 1892 and 1924.
  • The Family History Research web page on the National Library of Ireland web site is a must for anyone tracing family history. The NLI is one of the great repositories of genealogical records for Ireland and this web page gives a good overview of the records held in the NLI. It also provides a list of professional genealogical researchers.
  • Family Search is a web site maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which features online access to the International Genealogical Index and good advice on family research. The International Genealogical Index contains material indexed from a variety of sources for Ireland dating from the late eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century.
  • The General Register Office of Ireland holds the civil records of all births, marriages and deaths in Ireland (excluding Northern Ireland ) since 1864 and records of non-catholic marriages since 1845. The records are not available online but the site is worth a visit for its frequently asked questions page which can help newcomers to genealogy.
  • Genuki is a very good genealogical site for genealogical research for Ireland , England , Scotland , Wales , The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
  • The Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild allows visitors to the site to search online passenger lists.
  • The Irish Family History Foundation web site has links to the Irish Family History Foundation centres in the thirty two counties of Ireland which have computerized and indexed millions of genealogical records.
  • The web site of Irish Genealogy Ltd. which was established in 1993 to manage the Irish Genealogical Project. This government-supported project set up genealogical centres in most Irish counties to index genealogical records. The web site has links to many of the major repositories and visitors to the site may also commission genealogical research from professional genealogists and the genealogical centres in the various counties.
  • Irish Origins web site offers online access to a selection of genealogical records, including Griffith ’s Valuation and the Index of Irish Wills 1484 – 1858, on payment of a fee. The site also has good descriptions of some of the main sources used in Irish genealogical research which may be viewed free of charge.
  • The web site of the National Archives of Ireland which is one of the major repositories of genealogical records in Ireland . The web site is very informative about the records available in the National Archives and gives advice to those beginning genealogical research including a guide to further reading.
  • Rootsweb is another long established web site dealing with genealogy which is well worth a visit. It has very good advice for those starting out in genealogy.


It should be noted that no web site on health is a substitute for a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner. If you think you have a medical condition you should seek advice from a qualified medical professional.

  • The BBC’s health web site is a good site on general health with sections on men’s health, women’s health, common ailments, fitness and a variety of other topics.
  • The web site of the Dental Health Foundation Ireland which is extremely informative on dental health, the links between nutrition and dental health, smoking and dental health, the primary causes of tooth decay and much else.
  • The web site of the Department of Health and Children which has information on health services available in Ireland .
  • The web site of the Health Services Executive which took over operational responsibility for running Ireland ’s health and personal social services on 1 January 2005 .
  • The web site of Irish which has an online medical dictionary and very extensive links to other web sites on health-related issues.
  • Martindale’s Reference Desk is an extraordinary gateway site to sites on the physical sciences and health sciences.


  • The History section of the BBC web site has the quality usually associated with BBC projects and contains a number of items on medieval Ireland , the 1798 rebellion and the Great Famine written by subject specialists.
  • The web site of the magazine History Ireland requires a subscription for full access to all articles online but a selection of articles are available free.
  • The Ireland Story provides a history of Ireland from the earliest times to the modern era and includes historical and modern maps.
  • A web site devoted to revision for the Irish Leaving Certificate history course. It has useful synopses of the main topics in Irish and European history covered in the course.
  • The Women’s History Project web site provides access to databases which list some of the major sources for the history of women in Ireland .


International Newspapers online

The sites below offer online access to newspapers and periodicals from around the world.

Irish language

Irish literature

  • CELT is the web site of the Corpus of Electronic Texts on Ireland and features a searchable database of online texts.
  • Island Ireland is a wonderfully comprehensive gateway to sources of information on all things Irish on the web.
  • A very good gateway to web sites on Irish literature, mythology, folklore and drama
  • The Munster Literature Centre web site has information on Cork writers past and present and on the literary scene in Cork . The site provides online access to its journal Southword which has been published annually since 2001.

Irish newspapers & periodicals

Library Associations and Councils

Library catalogues


  • Multimaps has maps of most of the world. It enables viewers to zoom in.
  • This is the general web site of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland. If you want to view more detailed online images of Ordnance Survey historical maps, call in person to Cork City Libraries, who have in-house access to these maps.


  • The Alan Lomax Collection is a site devoted to the collections and recordings of one of the twentieth century’s greatest collectors of folk music. It provides information on one of the finest multi-media archives on folk music and dance from around the globe. Some of the resources of the archive are available online and other material will be made available on an ongoing basis.
  • is one of the most comprehensive databases on music. It allows visitors to search by genre, theme, mood, country and instrument. You’ll have to register to get full access but registration is free.
  • Classical Net is a marvellous resource for classical music enthusiasts. It includes pages devoted to basic repertoire lists, a classical CD buying guide, recommended classical CDs, composers’ works and data, reviews and articles, books and scores and classical music links.
  • The Contemplator Folk Music is a very good site on the traditional music of Ireland , England , Scotland and the USA . It includes lyrics, music and information on the folksongs.
  • This site is the online guide to the Cork International Choral Festival.
  • The web site of Cork Folk Festival is your online guide to the ever-popular annual festival.
  • The web site of the Cork Jazz Festival has all the information you’ll need on the 2006 festival including short biographies of the artists who will feature in the festival.
  • Folkworld is an online magazine devoted to folk music. It’s a good site to find reviews of recently released recordings of folk music.
  • The web site of the Irish Traditional Music Archive has a wealth of information on the activities of the multi-media reference and resource centre on Irish traditional music. Leaflets entitled What is Irish traditional music?, Getting to hear Irish traditional music, Learning Irish traditional music and Studying Irish traditional music may be downloaded from the site.
  • The Jazz Web is a gateway site with links to many resources on jazz and blues on the World Wide Web.
  • Opera base is a marvellous resource for fans of grand opera.




  • Ask Nature   is a  ready reference site based on solutions to problems that nature has already found/provided.
  • The BBC Science and Nature web site is one of the best sites for news and information about science on the World Wide Web. It also includes interactive games, quizzes and links to programmes on the BBC.
  • Echo Research Centre is a web site with over 5,000 links to web sites on science, technology and industry which may be browsed by topic or time period.
  • How Stuff Works is one of the most popular sites on science and technology on the web. In clear, simple language it explains how the things around us work. The range of subjects covered is extraordinary, from aspirin through microprocessors to the humble zip fastener.
  • Martindale’s Reference Desk is a very useful gateway site to sites on the physical sciences and health sciences.
  • The official Nobel Prize web site has a good section on those who have won Nobel prizes for discoveries in the natural sciences. It includes an ‘Explore and learn’ page where you can find information on the discoveries and play interactive games based on them.
  • News at Nature is a web site associated with the journal Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific journals. This site is probably the best site for accurate and up-to-date news on the latest findings in the natural sciences.
  • Plus is a very readable and entertaining online magazine which aims to introduce readers to the beauty of mathematics. It’s published four times a year.
  • Powers of Ten is a very imaginative site with images of the physical universe ranging from the scale of the smallest known particle, the quark, to the largest cosmological scale. Each image is accompanied by an informative commentary. Successive images are arranged in ascending order of scale; the scale of each succeeding image is ten times the scale of the previous image.
  • The web site of the Smithsonian Institute Science and Technology is a very attractive and well-illustrated site with information on virtually all areas of science and technology.


Telephone directories

Urban Legends

  • Snopes is devoted to the debunking of the most famous urban legends, including the legend that we use only ten per cent of our brains. Very informative and very amusing.

World Wide Web – search engines and guides

  • Altavista is one of the best-known and longest-established search engines
  • is a guide to online resources on the fine arts.
  • will allow you set up your own weblog or blog for free.
  • Clusty is a search engine that organises its results in clusters. A search using the term ‘pearl’ will show clusters with results related to Pearl Harbour, pearl necklace and other phrases containing the term ‘pearl’
  • Gaeilge ar an Ghréasáin is a gateway to a wide variety of Irish language sites on the web
  • Google is still the most popular search engine for the World Wide Web
  • The Guardian newspaper’s guide to the one hundred most useful web sites is worth a look despite its UK bias.
  • The Internet Public Library is perhaps the best gateway site to the World Wide Web. It has hundreds of links to high-quality sites on a huge variety of topics.
  • The Librarians’ index to the Internet is a guide to hundreds of web sites on a huge variety of topics chosen by librarians.
  • Mooter is an unusual search engine which organises the results it has retrieved into clusters sorted into the different categories which might fit the term or terms used by the enquirer.
  • Pinakes is a subject launchpad compiled by staff of the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh . It provides links to hundreds of quality web sites on the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences. The original ‘Pinakes’ was the catalogue of the library at Alexandria compiled by Callimachus.
  • Refdesk provides a list of some of the best sites on the World Wide Web organised by topic.
  • Search Engine Watch brings you all the latest news on the various search engines, rates search engines on their performances in different areas and gives useful advice on searching the web.
  • Technorati is a search engine that searches web logs. It is probably the best guide to the ‘blogsphere’.
  • is another site which will host blogs. Unlike it charges a fee for hosting blogs.
  • The Voice of the Shuttle is one of the most outstanding gateway sites on the web with links to hundreds of interesting sites.