Thursday, April 30, 2015

National Library of Ireland Press Notice Announcing Launch Date for New Online Genealogy Resource - Almost 400,000 images of Catholic parish register microfilms to be online for free from 8th July 2015

National Library of Ireland Announces Launch Date for New Online Genealogy Resource

Almost 400,000 images of Catholic parish register microfilms to be available online for free from 8th July 2015

The entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the  National Library of Ireland (NLI) will be made available online for free – from 8th July 2015 onwards. On that date, a dedicated website will go live, with over 390,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded.

The NLI has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under its most ambitious digitisation programme to date.

The parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.  Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.

Commenting today, the NLIs Ciara Kerrigan, who is managing the digitisation of the parish registers, said: We announced initial details of this project last December, and received a hugely enthusiastic response from people worldwide with an interest in Irish family history.   We are delighted to announce that the project has been progressing well, and we will be able to publish all the digitised records online from 8th July onwards.

“This is the most significant ever genealogy project in the history of the NLI.  The microfilms have been available to visitors to the NLI since the 1970s.  However, their digitisation means that, for the first time, anyone who likes will be able to access these registers without having to travel to Dublin.”

Typically, the parish registers include information such as the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved, including godparents or witnesses.   The digital images of the registers will be searchable by parish location only, and will not be transcribed or indexed by the NLI.

“The images will be in black and white, and will be of the microfilms of the original registers,” explained Ms. Kerrigan.  “There will not be transcripts or indexes for the images.  However, the nationwide network of local family history centres holds indexes and transcripts of parish registers for their local areas. So those who access our new online resource will be able to cross-reference the information they uncover, and identify wider links and connections to their ancestral community by also liaising with the relevant local family history centre.”

The NLI is planning an official launch event for the new online resource on 8th  July.   Further details will be available in the coming weeks.


Contact: Martina Quinn / Sarah Harte, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-6522033 / 087-9858259

Notes to Editors:
The  mission  of  the  National  Library  of  Ireland  is  to  collect,  preserve,  promote and  make  accessible  the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger
universe of recorded knowledge.  It is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections for

material not otherwise available through the public library service or an academic library. The Genealogical Office, the Office of the Chief Herald in Kildare Street, and the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar are all part of the National Library.  Further information is available at, @NLIreland.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

'Road to the Rising' O'Connell Street Dublin Easter Monday 6 April 2015 was a super successful commemoration to the 1916 Uprising. Hats off to Dublin City Council, RTE, the GPO (An Post), the National Library of Ireland, the Gresham Hotel and others for such a great event. Photo inside the GPO where people were receiving free genealogy advice.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Register Your Treasures from the 1916 Uprising!

BOOKED OUT: "Register Your Treasures" with the National Library at the GPO on Easter Monday

On Easter Monday 2015, O’Connell Street becomes an Edwardian thoroughfare, evoking the atmosphere of the capital in 1915.
We are delighted to partner with RTE, An Post, and Dublin City Council for "RTÉ Road to the Rising", which explores Ireland on the eve of Revolution, as well as the ideas, people and the socio-economic forces which would shape the events of Easter Week 1916. 
As part of the day of activities, a team led by the National Library of Ireland  will be on hand at a special event in the GPO to register items of interest from 1916. If you have family possessions that were connected to the Easter Rising in 1916, we would be very grateful if you could share details of them with us on 6 April.
We will be recording the details of the material you have, and inviting you to discuss how it can be made more widely available through the digitisation and oral history projects planned by the National Library of Ireland and An Post/the GPO over the next 12 months.
Genealogists and other experts will also be on hand to help you discover more, and everyone who attends will receive a special souvenir on the day.
Booking is essential for this special event as places are extremely limited so don't delay and register now, at
For more details on the packed free programme of activities,

RTE Road to the Rising


Ancestor Network will have genealogists on duty to help on Easter Monday at the GPO in Dublin under the auspices of An Post, Dublin City Council, the National Library of Ireland and RTE.

Step Into History with RTÉ Road to the Rising

Step Into History with RTÉ Road to the Rising
20/03/2015: Step into history this Easter Monday, as RTÉ explores the events that led to the Easter Rising.
Discover life in Ireland as it was 100 years ago, as O’Connell Street, Dublin, comes alive with stage and street performances, vintage exhibitions, family-friendly talks, tours and broadcasts.
RTÉ Road to the Rising has been created in partnership with An Post, Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as well as collaboration and support from Century Ireland, the Abbey Theatre, the National Library, Transport for Ireland and the local business sector.
With something for all the family, O’Connell Street will be pedestrianised for the day and turned into a 1915 thoroughfare.  Experience the sights, sounds and people of the capital as they were 100 years ago.
“RTÉ Road to the Rising stands as testimony to our commitment to marking and celebrating the key events of the Decade of Commemorations.  This will be a highly engaging re-imagining of this period in history and will help set the stage for many important conversations about our national identity and cultural roots.” Noel Curran, Director General, RTÉ
“I invite everyone who has an interest in this period in our history to join us on O’Connell Street on Easter Monday for what promises to be an enjoyable and memorable family day out as we look ahead to the Centenary just one year from now.”
Christy Burke, Lord Mayor of Dublin
“RTÉ Road to the Rising is a fantastic platform through which Irish people can approach the events of 1916 in a way that is interesting and engaging for all ages. It is also an excellent lead into the launch of Ireland 2016, the national initiative to mark the Centenary of the Easter Rising.”
Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
“An Post is pleased to support this wonderful programme of events. It is fitting that the GPO will be central to proceedings as it was over Easter weekend 1916. Fitting also that the event will mark the countdown to the official opening of our own interpretive exhibition centre, GPO Witness History, in Easter 2016.”
Donal Connell, Chief Executive, An Post
Highlights of the day include an Edwardian stage presentation of some of Ireland’s best known singers, musicians and bands who will perform music of the era.  Performers will include Jack L, The High Kings, and the Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society. There will also be on-street displays, demonstrations and exhibitions.  In addition, there will be a vintage carousel, an Edwardian wedding, silent movies from the O’Kalem Film company, provided courtesy of the Irish Film Institute, at the cinemobile, a horse-drawn hearse, a hot air balloon, a steam engine, and cars from the time
Two new dramas which are being specifically devised for the event will premiere on the day.  ANU Productions’ “Yellow” will focus on Dublin during World War 1, while RTÉ’s Drama On One will resurrect a play that was due to be staged at the Abbey Theatre during Easter Week, 1916.
Audiences will also have the opportunity to watch the full series of Insurrection at Liberty Hall Theatre.  This groundbreaking Telefís Éireann drama told the story of the Rising as it might have unfolded had television existed in 1916.  It hasn’t been shown for almost 50 years.  The screening will be in aid of the Equity Actors’ Benevolent Fund. 
At the GPO, the National Library’s team of archivists and historians invite the public to bring along items of interest connected with the Rising, where they can discuss how they would like to have their family memorabilia recorded for future generations.  This will be a free ticketed event and demand for these sessions is likely to be strong so early booking is advised.   No ordnance permitted.
People on the day can choose from more than 60 lectures, talks and panel discussions which will take place at various locations.  Hosted by RTÉ presenters, these will include such topics as ‘Wives, Mothers and Revolutionaries, Women in 1915 Ireland’, ‘The Twilight of Empire’, ‘Law and Order in Ireland 1915’, and ‘Beyond the Legend: Family Memories of the Volunteers’. 
On the main stage of the Abbey Theatre, historians and social commentators, Professor Joe Lee (New York University), Professor Roy Foster(University of Oxford), Professor Diarmaid Ferriter(UCD), Catríona Crowe (National Archives Ireland), Professor Declan Kiberd (UCD) and Professor P.J. Mathews (UCD) will critique, consider and imagine a country on the cusp of revolutionary change.  The talks will be enhanced by rehearsed readings and dramatic performances.  Early booking is recommended.
For those who are unable to come to O’Connell Street on the day, the magic of the event will be brought to audiences through live broadcasts from O’Connell Stret including The History Show, Arena, Cormac ag a Cúig, on RnaG and coverage on News Now.  The Book Show, Sunday Miscellany, The Poetry Programme, RTÉ One’s Nationwide will also be recording special programmes from the event for broadcast at a later date. The full suite of broadcast output will be available on RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio Player.