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Exploring the Dublin Port Archive’s Name Book

Posted by Sean Daly on Sep 2, 2022
Workers in the port of Dublin c1920

Did your ancestor work on the docks for the port of Dublin a century ago? Learn about Dublin Port Company’s new digital archive including the “Name Book” of employees!

The Dublin Port Company, state-owned operator of the port of Ireland’s capital, has announced the opening of the Dublin Port Digital Archive online at .

The port authority holds archives from 1707, before the harbor was developed with the South Bull Wall and the Poolbeg Lighthouse later in the 18th century. The holdings include:

  • A “Name Book” listing employees from 1906 to 1925
  • 75,000 photographs
  • 30,000 engineering drawings
  • 600 historical registers
  • Yearbooks 1926-1994
  • Historical maps
  • Newspaper clippings books
  • Paintings of the port

The collections are currently being catalogued and digitized under the direction of Lar Joye, the Port Heritage Director, who explains the project in a video. Selected materials from the collections are now online.

Of particular interest to genealogists is the “Name Book”, a ledger of approximately 1800 port employees’ employment history from 1906 to 1925. Workers are listed in alphabetical order and their date of entry, age, salary history, change of status, and accidents are recorded. A searchable index is available on the site and the full 450-page book is available as a PDF download. Note however that dock workers employed by stevedoring companies (who did not work for the port of Dublin directly) are not present in the Name Book.

The Dublin Port Co. Name Book has the employment history of about 1800 manual workers: sailors, firemen, fitters, carpenters, riveters, watchmen, apprentices…
The yearbooks have images of the dock facilities, workers, and ships. The “Lady Limerick” ferried passengers nightly between Dublin and Liverpool six days a week in the 1920s.

Found an indexing error? Dublin Port Co. asks corrections be sent via a webform here. They are also encouraging the donation of historical items relating to the port, collecting stories from former workers, and offering advice for safekeeping of family heirlooms.

Find answers to your questions on our forums.


Hi, Do you know about the Irish photographers in 1924 in Doblin?

Any information likely to come on Stone Masons working there circa 1820

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