A Digital Project is Underway to Recreate Ireland’s Public Record Office Destroyed by Fire in 1922

A project is under way to digitally recreate the building and contents of the Public Record Office of Ireland, which were destroyed by an explosion and fire at Dublin’s Four Courts in 1922. The six-story Victorian building went up in flames on 30 June 1922 during the Civil War. Seven centuries of Ireland’s historical and genealogical records were lost, seemingly forever.

However, thanks to new technology, historical research and careful archival practise, Trinity College Dublin says these losses “are not irrecoverable”. The “Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury” project will see the creation of a virtual reality reconstruction of the Public Record Office.

The completed virtual reality project will be made available on the centenary of the Four Courts fire in 2022. The project website is http://www.beyond2022.ie.

You can learn a lot more in an article by Philip Bromwell at http://bit.ly/2H3khPN. A video that explains the project is also available at the same address.


Paragaraph 1 says the building went up in flames in 1922 during civil war…surely you don’t mean civil war????


    The date is correct. The explosion and fire in Dublin, Ireland’s Four Courts occurred on on 30 June 1922 in the midst of Ireland’s civl war, which lasted from 28 June 1922 to 24 May 1923.


Hmmmm…….it’s not really what the hype makes it sound like. I know from my own extensive Irish research that certain wills and probates were destroyed and not held or deposited in other places. And that about 75% (?) of the Church of Ireland parish registers, which were only held there, were destroyed. The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has done an excellent job since 1922 of recreating the items held in Dublin. PRONI put out a call to do just that. For instance, if you look at the extensive listing of archival records in Margaret Dickson Falley’s excellent Irish and Scotch Irish Research, much of it has been collected now by PRONI. They reached out to solicitor’s offices to get originals of deeds and wills, some of which had never been recorded, and over the years these have been deposited in their archives. However, there were many things in the Four Courts fire that were not held in other repositories and thus not recoverable.


What an uplifting development. I have family who lived in Ireland in the early 1900s and am pleased to hear that there are efforts to recover and preserve Irish history from the period.


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