Seven Centuries of Ireland’s Heritage to Be Recreated in Virtual Record Treasury

19 January 2021
Seven Centuries of Ireland’s Heritage to Be Recreated in Virtual Record Treasury

Posted: 30/03/17

On 30 June 1922 the Treasury Room containing Ireland’s documentary heritage dating back to the thirteenth century was destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion and fire at the Four Courts. On the centenary of that blaze in 2022, a new Virtual Record Treasury will be launched that reconstructs the nation’s archives and its collective memories.

Funded by the Irish Research Council to the tune of €220,000, Beyond 2022 is led by the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology and the Department of History at Trinity College Dublin, and run in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives (UK), The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Google and other national and international institutions.

Speaking about the project, Professor Séamus Lawless of the ADAPT Centre said: “The centrepiece of the project is new online resource, the Virtual Record Treasury, which will provide a digital reconstruction of the Record Treasury of the Public Record Office of Ireland as it existed in 1922, on the eve of the fire. This will become not only an essential platform for academic research but also a public resource with global reach and impact among the Irish people, both at home and abroad.”

Using state-of-the-art technological advances developed at the ADAPT Centre, the Virtual Record Treasury will provide:

  • Data visualisations enabling researchers to explore the treasury of the Public Record Office and its collections;
  • A complete inventory of loss and survival from the 1922 fire;
  • Digitisations of the surviving originals, transcripts and calendars;
  • Detailed guides on the significance of those collections from the thirteenth century to the Victorian era;
  • A vital hub linking replacement material held in archival repositories in Ireland and across the world.

Beyond 2022 will ensure a lasting and inspirational legacy beyond the current decade of centenaries.

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