Author: National Archives of Ireland
Documents and commentaries from the National Archives of Ireland
The Counties in Time CD-ROM aims to introduce a sample of the records held in the National Archives of Ireland to a wide audience. The records chosen exist, in nearly all cases, for the 32 counties of Ireland, and cover the period from the late sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The National Archives is used extensively by local and family historians from all over the country and from abroad, as well as by political, economic, social and administrative historians. Local history is a growing area of interest for many people, and it is hoped that Counties in Time will alert them, and many others, to the rich archival heritage preserved in the National Archives.
The CD contains almost 1000 documents, including sixteenth century Chancery Pleadings, seventeenth century Books of Survey and Distribution, eighteenth century Proclamations, nineteenth century Famine papers, and twentieth century records of the first Dáil. There are scanned images for almost all of the documents, transcripts for those which are difficult to read, and explanatory introductions to all of the record classes. There are short illustrated county histories for each county, covering the period from the late sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. There is a glossary of terms, like "conacre", "Whiteboy" and "cess", and a timeline which provides a short chronology of Irish history since the sixteenth century, and gives details on several key national issues that are referred to in the county histories. There is a guide to using original records for historical research. The CD is easy to navigate and user-friendly, with an extensive "Help" section.
Counties in Time will be invaluable for local and family historians in Ireland and abroad, post-primary teachers and pupils, and individuals interested in Ireland's archival heritage. The variety of the documents included, ranging from proclamations against Catholics holding arms during the penal days to family returns for the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, from the records of seventeenth century land redistribution to police reports on 1930s IRA activity, and from mid-nineteenth century crime reports to 1867 photographs of Fenian suspects, is testimony to the riches in the custody of the National Archives of Ireland.