Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association

Reference Code: IE 2135 P23
Title: Records of the Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association
Dates of Creation: 1875-1980 (predominant 1923-1954)
Extent and Medium: 27 boxes, 4 outsize volumes (552 files)

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Name of Creator: Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association.

Administrative History: The Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association was founded in 1853 to provide and maintain suitable premises and grounds to encourage literary and scientific study, cultivate artistic taste, create good fellowship, and provide spiritual, moral, social and physical improvement among its members.  A permanent headquarters for the Association was acquired at 97 George Street (later renamed O’Connell Street) in 1875, to which a new gymnasium and lecture hall were added two years later.  A sports ground was purchased in 1920 at Farranshone.  The Association was governed by a president, vice-presidents, treasurer, secretaries and a committee of thirteen members elected during the annual general meetings.  Among its other duties, the Committee was responsible for the approval and general control of clubs which operated within the Association and which were managed by their own sub-committees.  The most important of such clubs were those for Hockey, Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Bowls, which in 1938 amalgamated into a unified Sports Club.  The Association also operated a billiards room, and a large library and reading room.  Prospective members had to belong to one of the reformed branches of the Christian Church and be of respectable moral conduct.  Women were eligible and were exempt from the subscription fee provided that they had a male relative who was also a member.  The Association’s popularity began to wane from the 1960s onwards.  It remains in existence but mostly in an administrative capacity to oversee the maintenance of its premises.

Archival History: The material was held in the Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association’s headquarters at 97 O’Connell Street until 7 June 2005, when it was transferred to the University of Limerick Special Collections by the trustees of the Association.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: On loan from the Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association, due for a review in June 2015.


Content and Structure

Scope and Content: Series A (Committees) includes annual reports and related agendas and notices, minute books, lists of committee members and correspondence, mainly in connection with committee appointments, changes made to the club rules in 1944-1946, and the formation of the unified Sports Club in 1938.  Series B (Membership) includes subscription lists, membership cards and correspondence, mainly relating to new members and the payment of subscription fees.  Series C (Finances) includes account books, statements and summaries, bank statements and lodgement notices, debenture certificates and related correspondence, insurance policies, correspondence relating to malicious injury claims following a series of fires on the premises in 1922 and 1933, and income tax receipts.  Series D (Premises) includes correspondence and subscription lists relating to the purchase of the new premises in 1875, estimates, tenders and correspondence relating to ongoing repairs, particularly from architects Clifford Smith & Newenham.  There are also receipts for rent, rates, and electricity, and the purchase of goods and services.  Material relating to the sports ground at Farranshone includes correspondence at the time of its purchase in 1920, and reports, drawings, estimates and correspondence concerning the maintenance of its courts, greens and boundary wall, the letting of a portion of the sports ground and the hire of grounds­men.  Series E (Activities) includes diaries, receipts and correspondence relating to sports fixtures, excursions, bazaars, fetes and dances, lectures and classes, and chess tournaments and whist drives.  Also receipts relating to the purchase of sporting equipment, billiard tables and equipment, and money spent on advertisements, stationery and postage.  Series F (Library and Reading Room) includes book and circulation catalogues, a suggestion book for additions to the library stock and receipts relating to magazine subscriptions and the purchase of books.  Series G comprises assorted maps, charts, photographs and architectural drawings.  There are no records relating to the Association’s early years (1853-1874), and few relating to its activities after 1959.  The records are purely administrative by nature and reveal little of the Association’s temporal and spiritual aspirations.  Arising from the fact that the Association’s secretaries were not obliged to hand over correspondence or other material upon resignation, some years and some aspects of the Association’s activities remain poorly recorded.

System of Arrangement: As the original order of the documents was no longer discernible at the time of acquisition, the records have been arranged into six sub-fonds reflecting the major activities of the creator: Committees; Membership; Finances; Premises; Activities; and Library and Reading Room.  A seventh sub-fond contains maps, charts, photographs and architectural drawings.


Conditions of Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access: No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Reproduction: Reproduction of the material is permitted, except for items dated after 1979 containing personal information.

Language/ Scripts of Material: English, Irish.


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