MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Event to explore new all-Ireland virtual archive

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Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry

Event to explore new all-Ireland virtual archive

10 June 2024

The dramatic loss of centuries of invaluable archive information during the Easter Rising, and the work to virtually recreate it, will be the focus of a special event taking place in the Guildhall this month.

Titled ‘Recovered from the Flames: Reconstructing the lost records of 1922’ the event takes place on June 19th, hosted by the Tower Museum in conjunction with PRONI and the Virtual Records Treasury of Ireland.

It looks back on June 1922, when the Public Record Office of Ireland was destroyed in the battle of the Four Courts, the opening engagement of the Civil War. In a single afternoon seven centuries of Irish history went up in flames.

Since then, the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland has been dedicated to digitally reconstructing, as far as possible, these lost archives as part of an all-island and international research programme.

Archivist with the Tower Museum, Bernadette Walsh, explained more about the event. “Through this ambitious research programme the Treasury has been tracking down copies and transcripts in libraries and archives across Ireland and overseas, recovering tens of thousands of documents relating to every corner of Ireland, and making them available online. This will create an all-island and international virtual legacy for the Decade of Centenaries, an open-access resource that will be freely available.

“At the event in the Guildhall people will have a chance to find out more about the history of Derry and its people through the lens of this exciting new online resource. I would encourage anyone with an interest in local history to come along to find out more.”

The event takes place in the Whittaker Suite in the Guildhall on Wednesday June 19th from 12noon – 2pm. Bernadette will be joined by speakers Ciarán Wallace – Deputy Director, Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland, Tim Murtagh – Virtual Record Treasury Research Fellow, and Stephen Scarth – Head of Public Services, PRONI.

Looking ahead to the event, Stephen Scarth from PRONI, said: “PRONI and colleagues from the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland are delighted to share how records lost during the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922 are being recovered for future generations. Tim Murtagh and Ciaran Wallace will showcase the exciting online resource containing surrogates, copies and transcripts relating to seven centuries of lost records.

“We are also marking the 100th anniversary of PRONI opening to the public in 1924 and will highlight the instrumental role performed by PRONI and its early Deputy Keepers in sourcing replacements for the lost records.”

The event is free, but with limited space, anyone who wishes to attend is advised to book a place through [email protected] or 028 7137 2411.

MIL OSI United Kingdom