The Society has always been conscious of the importance and value of its Journal. There are indexes of all issues from 1892-2005, as a millennium project the first volume was digitised, and work is now proceeding on digitising the issues from 1892-2003. This work continues the 19th century tradition of scholarship, antiquarianism and philanthropy outside the academy.
When the Society was founded in 1891 its objects were to collect, preserve and diffuse all available information regarding the past of the City and County of Cork, and to provide for the keeping of an authentic record of current events (see article by Patrick Holohan in the Special Centenary number of the Journal in 1991 for more information). Looking through the first minute book of the Society, there is no mention of the Journal in the first entry, dated September 18 1891. However, the Journal appears to be the major item on the agenda at the second meeting on October 6 1891, when the interview that Canon R. A. Sheehan (chairman of the Society’s Committee) had with Messrs Moore and Magrath of Guy & Company with regard to publishing the proposed Journal was recorded. Mr Magrath had suggested two possible schemes under which he was prepared to undertake the publication for the Society. One would require a guarantee against a possible deficit or the entire risk would be taken by Guy & Company. In this latter arrangement, the Society would have disposal of as many columns as they wished to supply. The other matter that would appear in the Journal was to be the re-publication of manuscripts or rare old books relative to Cork. At this meeting in October 1891, Mr Tivy proposed and Alderman Dale seconded Magrath’s second proposal – that the Society would be guaranteed publication of their material but at no risk. In time-honoured fashion a sub-committee was formed with the membership being Canon Sheehan, Mr H. L. Tivy and Mr John O’Mahony (Hon. Sec.) who would interview Mr Magrath further. The meeting finished with the opinion of the Committee being that members of the Society should be able to obtain the Journal at special terms. Thus the great adventure into publishing had begun and the Society has succeeded in its aim to preserve the written history of Cork with great success. The early volumes are characterised by ensuring rare or items thought in danger of being lost being put into print, including Smith’s History of Cork as annotated by Richard Caulfield. The only year when the Journal has not appeared since then was 1923, a sign of the troubled times in Cork city. Volume 117 (2012) marked the 120th issue of the Journal. Professor John A. Murphy (a former Hon. Editor) has written about the Journal in The Holly Bough (2012), pp110-111.
As part of the Digital JCHAS Project images from past issues are presented here.
The early volumes of JCHAS features some interesting and colourful advertisements. Newsom & Sons, tea merchants, were the only two colour ads.
The Queen’s Old Castle, JCHAS 1893
Alcock’s Teas, JCHAS 1892
Alexander Grant & Company, JCHAS 1892
This article is copyright © CHAS 2021