Irish Archives Resource Goes Online

Irish Archives Resource, abbreviated as “IAR,” is a portal that recently has been greatly expanded. It links together hundreds of unique archival collections and 34 archive services in Ireland north and south. Ireland’s first archive web portal, Irish Archives Resource (IAR), includes contribution from Trinity College Dublin’s Manuscripts and Archives Research Department, RTÉ Stills Library, National Museum of Ireland Archives, University College Cork Archives, Derry City Council Heritage and Museum Service, and the archives of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. It does not hold any images of archives or records. Instead, it provides a means to search archival descriptions from various contributing institutions.

The archive is not specifically a genealogy resource. Instead, it contains all sorts of archival descriptions, many of which will prove to be useful resources to genealogists, historians, social scientists, film historians, Irish citizens, Irish emigrants and their descendants, and to many others. It should appeal to anyone interested in accessing Ireland’s archival heritage.

Beginning as a pilot project in 2008, as a result of a joint initiative of the Heritage Council and Archives and Records Association, Ireland, the IAR is an all-Ireland portal containing collections from Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and National Archives of Ireland.

The IAR is currently funded by the Heritage Council, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland. The portal is hosted by University College Dublin’s School of History and Archives. With adequate funding, it aims to expand the current number of contributing archive services from 34 to up to 70.

The Irish Archives Resource may be found at http://www.iar.ie.

One Comment

I wonder if something has changed here. I believe this is the website that wouldn’t allow me to do any research as a third party for a client just a few months ago. Searching for Irish records recently at this or another native Irish website was restricted to people who could prove they were the relative of the person being sought. I read the usage agreement of either this or (as I said) another governmental website which explained the policy in easy-to-understand language rather than the typical ultra-legal jargon.

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