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Friday, 30 June 2017

RCB Library makes Church of Ireland parish registers more easily discoverable with online hand-lists

The RCB Library has completed another project to help researchers more easily discover the availability of Church of Ireland records. The latest phase of its work on the hand-lists of parish records in RCBL custody has been released online, providing hand-lists for all 1,100 parish record collections held in the Library in Braemor Park, Dublin 14.

You can find out more about the project and the painstaking revision work it involved at the RCBL's Archive of the Month presentation for July.

Click image to view the RCB Library's presentation
for the new online hand-held lists.
While hardcopy finding aids or hand-lists itemising the contents of specific collections have been available to researchers visiting the Library for some time, it has been difficult for those unable to make a personal visit to gain a detailed insight into each collection’s rich and varied content.

This time last year, a collaborative project between the RCB Library and the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) produced the colour-coded List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers, accounting for which parish registers survive, and where they are held. It also features live  links to online copies and transcripts.

The re-launch of this important resource has been widely acclaimed by the research community.

Now the parish hand-list for collections in the Library’s custody provides added value to the resource, enabling researchers to view and download the Library collection master lists as PDFs.

Reflecting the perspective of the worldwide research community on this latest phase of the Library’s work, IGRS Chairman Steven Smyrl commented: “It was a pleasure for the IGRS to celebrate its 80th anniversary last year by collaborating with the RCB Library to produce the colour-coded parish register list. Now with the addition of hyperlinks to the detailed hand-lists for each parish collection, Church of Ireland parish records have never been more accessible. Well done to all RCB staff involved.”

The Library continues to encourage local clergy to transfer non-current records from their local provenance to the Library’s permanent and secure centralised custody. To complement the re-launch of the List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers, this month’s online presentation (link above) includes links to the hand-lists of recently deposited registers and other parish materials, highlighting some of the more unusual items that have recently come into Library custody and the aspects of local and family history that they bring to light.