This week I had a chance to use a new CD-ROM from Eneclann. This disk includes almost 1,000 documents from the National Archives of Ireland. The records chosen cover the 32 counties of Ireland and span the period from the late sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.
I inserted the new disk into my CD-ROM drive and, without further intervention by me, the first screen appeared on my computer. In fact, there is no software to install. Counties in Time is written in HTML and Flash. All that you need is a Windows or Macintosh computer with a relatively modern Web browser. All CD-ROM disks should be this easy!
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.
The documents vary widely: 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.
As mentioned in the disk's description, many of the documents on the disk are samples of information to be found in the Archives. For instance, there is but one scanned image of one page in the County Waterford Tithe Applotment Books. One would have to assume that the National Archives of Ireland holds thousands of such pages. Such works could fill many CD-ROM disks all by themselves.
Other resources on this disk were extensive. For instance, the 32 county histories seem to be very complete. The county histories cover from the late sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century and range in length from 5000 to 7000 words. Each history contains 6-7 images, both photographic and pre-photographic, and each includes a bibliography to assist the researcher with further reading.
The menu system is straight forward: six hot links across the top of the screen include:
- Timeline: a brief over of Irish history and the documents generated throughout the years
- Records: good examples of the types of information to be found in the National Archives of Ireland.
- Counties: a quick short-cut to find the information of interest if you already know the county where your ancestors lived.
- County Histories: 32 well researched histories
- Glossary: a long list of unique terms to be found on this CD disk
- Home: A quick short cut to the main page
A lengthy Help section is also included.
The Counties in Time CD-ROM will interest many genealogists a well as teachers, pupils, or anyone interested in Irish history. It sells for €25.00 or US$29.95 (plus postage & packing). You can obtain it directly from Eneclann in Dublin or order it from most any book store if you specify ISBN 0-9540750-0-5.
For more information about Counties in Time, look at http://www.eneclann.ie/publications-8.asp. You can also order the disk from the same Web page using Eneclann's safe and secure shopping cart system.
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