Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

25,000 new historical records released by Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

25,000 new historical records released by Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland
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25,000 new historical records have been made freely available to the public to mark the 102nd anniversary of the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland.

The records are available for the first time at the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland (VRTI), a digital recreation of the Public Record Office and its collections launched in 2022.

Led by Trinity College Dublin, the VRTI is a collaboration between historians, computer scientists, archives, and libraries across the island of Ireland and around the world working to recreate, through digital technologies, our national archive, which was destroyed by fire in the opening battle of the Irish Civil War.

Two years after its launch, the VRTI now has hundreds of thousands of digital images of replacement documents — transcripts and duplicates — identified in partner archives in Ireland and worldwide.

The VRTI web experience has been upgraded for the 102nd anniversary with new features including enhanced navigation and discovery across its collections of digitised replacement documents and 100 million words of transcribed text. Four full-scale recreations of the entire series of archives known as Gold Seams, and ten Curated Collections, are now also available.

Since the Virtual Treasury was first launched in 2022 on the centenary of the Four Courts fire our collections, curated with the help of partners across Ireland, Britain and the USA, have doubled in scale. But this is only the beginning.

We are continuously advancing technology and forging new partnerships to establish Ireland as a global leader in the creative exploration of digital archives.”

Trinity historian Peter Crooks, Academic Director of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

The research programme, hosted at the Science Foundation Ireland ADAPT Centre for AI-driven content, continues to pursue innovation, particularly in the area of Open Data.

Highlights of documents released by the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland:

  • The new ‘1798 Rebellion’ collection, curated in partnership with the National Archives, Ireland (NAI), provides digital access to the catalogue of 8,000 items in the Rebellion Papers, shining a light on this pivotal moment. This collection offers a unique insight into the birth of Irish Republicanism and the nature of the 1798 Rebellion.
  • Detailed detective work is helping to uncover transcripts of the pre-Famine census destroyed in 1922. VRTI has identified over 200,000 names from the lost pre-Famine census. A small sample of these transcribed records, held in the National Archives, Ireland and other archives across the island of Ireland, are now available online for the first time.
  • A precious 15th-century register from Armagh, conserved and digitised by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, documenting relations between Gaelic Ulster and the English crown in the Middle Ages.
  • Medieval exchequer records digitised and translated up to 1327 by The National Archives UK including records relating to the pivotal years of the Scottish invasion of Ireland under King Robert Bruce.
  • A volume from the huge State Papers Ireland collection is now available free of charge on the VRTI, providing a view from London in the 1600s This is a taster of the 26,000 images from The National Archives UK to be launched in 2025.

Discover more on the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland website.

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I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.

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