Yesterday Dr. David Craig, the Director of the National Archives of Ireland, was presented with the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations’ (CIGO) annual ‘Award for Excellence in Genealogy’ in recognition of the completion of its mammoth project to create an on-line database of indexed scanned images from the 1901 & 1911 census returns for Ireland.
In presenting the Award CIGO Chairman, Steven Smyrl, said that “while over the past 20 years CIGO had regularly used constructive criticism to encourage improvement in access to records held by public and private bodies, it was also just as important to recognise achievement. The National Archives’ was to be commended for its commitment to creating the census database and for making it freely available to millions worldwide through the Internet.”
By far the largest digitisation project yet undertaken by the National Archives, it has benefited from major investment by the Irish Government. In publishing the 1901 & 1911 census online, the National Archives has made it available free of charge to the many millions of people in Ireland and worldwide who seek access to it to trace their Irish ancestors. And the success of the project can be seen from the fact that, over the 30 months from December 2007 to May 2010 (when initially only the 1911 census returns were available on-line) the Website received more than 7 million visits and more than 270 million hits.
In accepting the Award the Director said: “We greatly appreciate receiving this award from the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations. We are very pleased that the success of this venture has been formally recognised by the body that brings together in one council such a wide range of organisations active in the field of Irish genealogy.”
Previous recipients of the Award include Dublin City Library and Archives in 2007 for its database of Dublin city electoral rolls and The Irish Times in 2008 for its completed on-line database of indexed scanned images of the newspaper dating back to 1859.
About the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO)
The Council for Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) is an umbrella group representing the genealogical community within Ireland and worldwide. It was formed in 1992. It represents almost all of Ireland’s societies and organisations involved in genealogical research as well as a number of others based across the English-speaking world.
About the National Archives of Ireland
The National Archives houses the archives of the modern Irish state. It also holds archives of pre-independence government and court offices located in Ireland, and archives acquired from a variety of other sources, including business firms, charities, health boards, hospitals, schools, solicitors’ offices, trade unions and private individuals. The archives date mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, although some date back as far as the 13th century.