Thursday, December 5, 2019

Fantastic Find! Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury

The fire that destroyed the Public Records Office in Dublin in June of 1922 with the resulting loss of centuries of Irish records has made researching our Irish ancestors difficult.

[Source: Trinity College, Dublin]

But now, five institutions* have joined together to search out duplicates of the original records in other collections to"recreate virtually as much of the archive as possible in a digital format that can be accessible to everybody" in time for the centenary of the fire.**

The project is called Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury and its director Peter Crooks*** explains:
“We are committed to producing 50 million words of searchable material by 2022 and that is possible with the artificial intelligence we are using,” he said. 
“Tens of thousands of papers will be digitised, but they will also be searchable, which is a change. We will be able to mine this information for individual names.”
I strongly suggest you visit Trinity College Dublin's website about the project, especially the Gallery which has a number of images and videos, including a 1922 newsreel that shows the Public Records Office on fire.

I learned about Beyond 2022 through a link to the this article in the Irish Times.

*They are: the National Archives, the UK national archives, the public records office in Northern Ireland, the Irish Manuscripts Collection and the library at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
**Which happened on June 30, 1922, two days after the start of the Irish Civil War.
**You can watch a video with Peter Crooks here.

© 2019 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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