The Centre has a Great Famine Commemoration Exhibition. As you probably know, the Irish famine in the 1840s, known as the Great Hunger, hit West Cork particularly hard. To quote the Centre's website:
From newspaper accounts of the time, Skibbereen was depicted as being symbolic of the destitution and hardship caused by the failure of the potato crop. Between 8,000 and 10,000 unidentified souls are buried in the Famine graveyard at Abbeystrewery near Skibbereen.In addition to helping to teach people how our West Cork ancestors lived and died, the Centre provides assistance with genealogical studies. When I visited, a lovely lady found and copied the Griffith's Valuation and 1901 Irish Census forms for my Moynihan and Leahy ancestors. Today we're lucky to be able to access them free online. The Centre also holds parish registers for a number of West Cork Roman Catholic parishes, alas not Schull, and will do lookups.
The Skibbereen Heritage Centre website provides a variety of information, including the following searchable databases: Loan Fund Database, Graveyard Database, and Townland Database. There are also links to resources, genealogical or not.
I would encourage you to visit the Heritage Centre if you're in West Cork. If you're not, and have West Cork heritage, check out the Centre's website.
Before I go, let me share with you what made me do a double-take on leaving the Skibbereen Heritage Centre.
Why on earth there was a car from Barrie Honda in the parking lot of the Skibbereen Heritage Centre in West Cork! Any guesses?