Donegal County Council Logo
Home > Your Council > CommunicationsOffice > Press Releases > School Records Exhibition now at Donegal Archives

27/02/2017 - Donegal School Records Exhibition now on at Donegal County Archives


Donegal School Records Exhibition now on at Donegal County Archives




A new exhibition presenting school records from Donegal Schools is now open in the Donegal County Archives office at the Three Rivers Centre in Lifford.  Records on display include the minutes of the Ray Charter School Committee 1794 -  May 1802, Local Committee Book, Ray Charter School 1813 – 1821, Letterkenny National School Registers 1860 – 1898, Slieve League National School Index c1900 and a list of over 100 national Schools for which Donegal County Archive Service holds records.



The Charter Society founded Ray Charter School in 1740 in Labadish, one and a half miles from Manorcunningham. It was the only Charter School in Donegal. The two volumes relating to the school on display as part of the exhibition give visitors a unique insight into day to day life in a Donegal boarding school over two hundred years ago. 



The minutes of the Ray Charter School Committee 1794 – 1802 covers a wide range of topics including the financial aspects of the school, the health and welfare of the children and inventories of linen, beds and other items. It also outlines the type repairs carried out at the school as follows;



“Particulars of house repairs – flagging the hall, the kitchen, & the dairy…..”



The Local Committee Book contains the comments of the Local Committee members who visited the school on a regular basis. Examples include;


“July the 2nd 1813 I visited the school this day at 9 o’clock Saw the boys ate at breakfast stirabout and milk good and suficient quantity heard them sing a psalm very well…..”



In 1831, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Earl Stanley introduced the new National School system. Prior to this the only schooling available to most children was through hedge schools and schools such as the Lifford Endowed Prior School and Ray Charter School.



As part of the exhibition, Donegal County Archive Service has compiled a list of over 100 national schools for which it holds records. Schools donated the records (mainly rolls and registers, the oldest of which dates from the 1850’s) to the County Archives for safe keeping.



Donegal School Records Exhibition now on at Donegal County Archives




 The school records are open to the public, once listed and by agreement with the school. However, if there are any which are recent and of a sensitive nature, restricted access rules will apply.



You can arrange to see exhibition and other records by appointment only (Monday to Thursday) by contacting Donegal County Archive Service at Tel: 074 9172490, E-Mail:




Rate this Page

Select an option below


Map Services

Map Portal

  • Rennet Image
  • NPPR Logo
  • Donegal Gathering Logo
  • Donegal Tourism Logo
  • Donegal Diaspora Logo
  • Public Art logo
  • Regional Cultural Centre logo
  • Spaceial logo
  • IrishWater
  • LEO