Monday, 7 April 2014

Our Wicklow Heritage is looking for submissions
An online community archive has been launched for County Wicklow and is looking for articles, photos and other submissions relating to the county's history and heritage.

The site, Our Wicklow Heritage, is part of ICAN, the Irish Community Network Archive, which was established by the National Museum of Ireland to promote community archives nationwide. ICAN already hosts sites for the Mayo towns of Ballinrobe and Louisburg & Killeen and for Oughterard in Co Galway, but Wicklow is the first county to become a member.

Catherine Wright, county archivist and genealogist at the Wicklow Family History Centre, told Irish Genealogy News a little more about the site and the type of material she and her colleagues on the editorial team hope to receive: "We are looking for interesting articles on Wicklow families and stories about old times in Wicklow. Perhaps family historians have made an unusual discovery in the course of their research, or they simply have a particularly interesting ancestor... we'd like to hear more."

She's also hoping that historical societies, many of whom have members working hard on fabulous research, will consider showcasing their material on the site, and sharing their research with a wider audience.

"I'm very excited about the new site," says Catherine. "Especially as it's a way for people to access local history material. I know my enquirers really appreciate any contextual information I can give them about the areas their ancestors lived in and, indeed, the times they lived in."

A number of genealogy articles from the Wicklow Family History Centre, the Wicklow Heritage Office and Wicklow Library Service have already been uploaded to Our Wicklow Heritage, providing information about sources, place names, administrative divisions, maps etc relating to the county. Also online is the first in a series of case-study articles demonstrating how these sources can be used to trace a Wicklow ancestor.

If you have links to County Wicklow, you may like to think about what you might contribute. The process has been made very easy. All you have to do is register on the site as a user and follow the instructions to send in your stories or articles, photographs or other types of memories. The website team will then edit and publish on your behalf.

(I interviewed Catherine a few years ago for a feature about the Wicklow Family History Centre. If you are conducting research in the county, you might like to take a read.)