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Using Counties in Time

Documents and commentaries from the National Archives of Ireland

This CD-ROM brings together the rich archival heritage at the National Archives, with histories of each county in Ireland, photographs and etchings from other cultural institutions, and a variety of other resources for researching Irish history. As a consequence this publication is both an essential introduction to the archival holdings at the National Archives, and also an excellent educational resource for the study of Irish history from a uniquely local perspective. The CD contains many elements which are explained below.

1. The Records

There are 31 classes of records at the National Archives on this CD-ROM. An example has been chosen for each county, and this CD contains both a scanned image of the record as well as a transcript of those items which can be hard to read. For example the following image is of a letter among the Relief Commission Papers concerning the impact of the Famine in Ballyuskill, Co. Laois.

Some documents contain photographs as well. For example the Fenian photograph series was one of the earliest use of photography by the police in Europe.

2. Transcripts
This CD also contains a full transcript of the item to help users with paleography. For example the following image is of a transcript of the Famine letter which appears above:

3. County Histories
This CD contains a history of all 32 counties in Ireland. Each county history is between 5,000 and 7,000 words in length, and traces the county from the sixteenth to the late twentieth century. These are illustrated with drawings, etchings and photographs provided by several cultural institutions in Ireland. For example, the following two images were kindly provided by the National Library and National Museum.

4. Timeline
The CD-ROM contains a detailed timeline of events in Irish history since the early sixteenth century. Major events also link to pop-up screens with extensive information.

5. Other resources
There are many other utilities on this CD-ROM including a detailed glossary of terms, a guide to using records for historical research, as well as an extensive introduction to the National Archives, its records and function.

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