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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Kilmainham Gaol's autograph books to go online

Built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol is one of Ireland's
top tourist attractions.
Kilmainham Gaol is to launch a new website to showcase its prisoner autograph book collection dating from the 1916–1923 period.

A Request For Tender (RFT) has been issued by the Office of Public Works, which manages the Gaol where many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed.

The project will involve the digitisation of some 2,500 pages from 14 autograph books dating from 1916 to 1918; textual and visual information about the signatory will accompany around 10% of these pages. Additional content on the site will explore the process of imprisonment and the origin of the books as well as providing historical context.

Website visitors will be able to enlarge the online book pages and explore them in greater detail, as well as search the site by prisoner name and prison.

The website will be launched at the end of March 2016 and will subsequently be expanded to include some 8,000 additional pages from autograph books and more information about Kilmainham Gaol Archives.

Access to the autograph books collection is currently restricted, partly on account of their physical condition but also because the Gaol does not have suitable research or exhibition facilities.

The RFT is available on eTenders.