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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

All editions of 1914's Church of Ireland Gazette online

All the 1913 and 1914 editions are now online
October's Archive of the Month from the Representative Church Body Library (RCBL) sees the Church of Ireland Gazette for 1914 made available in a fully searchable format online and free.

All 52 editions of the weekly publication can be viewed, and they join those for 1913 which were uploaded last year.

The Gazette, which has always been editorially independent, provides the longest-running public commentary on the Church’s affairs, and as such is a recognised resource for understanding the complexities and nuances of Church of Ireland identity, both north and south, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life throughout the island. It covers a vast range of topics.

For anyone whose ancestors who were connected with the Church, the paper is essential reading.

But it holds plenty of interest beyond that group, too. As well as providing comment about national events, the Gazette published details of funerals, obituaries, school, church and community activities. It also carried lots of advertising from service and goods providers.

The RCBL in Dublin holds the only complete run of the paper – from the first issue in March 1856 up to the present date. They are bound up in hard copy volumes for each year and remain an invaluable resource, but these hard copies are suffering wear and tear and can be cumbersome for researchers to use.

Now professionally scanned by Informa, they can be searched using keywords or phrases of interest; pages can be searched individually or in the wider context of a particular issue of the newspaper. Both the 1913 and the 1914 editions can be searched at the Informa search engine.

The RCBL's Archive of the Month page provides some highlights from the 1914 editions. It also announces that it is seeking sponsorship for the digitisation of more editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette.

The 1914 project has only been possible with the generous support of an anonymous donor.