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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Coming soon: Co Tipperary's mid-C19th Rate Books

If you have Tipperary ancestors, you'll be pleased to learn that some terrific new records are going to become available in the not too distant future.

Tipperary Studies, the local study reference library and archive of Tipperary Libraries, has embarked on a project to digitise its collection of material and make it freely accessible online.

"It's early days," Mary Guinan Darmody told Irish Genealogy News, "But we're hoping to start uploading some material to the website in the near future." A taster of the new material, a Lackagh Rate Book dating from 1850/1, is already online here, and it's great quality.

The move follows last June's local government reorganisation that merged the councils of North and South Tipperary. The Tipperary Studies team had set out on a fundraising campaign to buy the €24,000 scanner they needed to start their schedule of digitisation; the campaign went remarkably well, and the equipment was installed just before Christmas. Losing no time, the team has been kept busy not only carrying out their normal duties but also scanning some of the material they've identified as suitable for online viewing.

"More than 40 Rate Books have already been scanned and are ready for upload," says Mary. "We're also planning to make add relevant parts of the Books of Survey and Distribution, which date from the 1680s, an autograph book from one of the War of Independence Interment Camps and a Visitors Book from the Rock of Cashel, which dates from the 1860s."

There is currently no certain timetable for the uploading of the material – this isn't in the hands of the Tipperary Studies team – but Mary believes the Rate Books should appear very soon.

I'm rubbling my hands in anticipation!