Thursday 8 July 2010

Census digitisation wins Excellence award

The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has won the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) annual Award for Excellence in Genealogy.

The Award was given in recognition of the completion of the NAI’s mammoth project to create an online database of indexed scanned images from the 1901 & 1911 census returns for Ireland.

Presenting the Award, CIGO Chairman Steven Smyrl said: "While over the past 20 years CIGO has regularly used constructive criticism to encourage improvement in access to records held by public and private bodies, it is just as important to recognise achievement.

"The National Archives is to be commended for its commitment to creating the census database and for making it freely available to millions worldwide through the Internet.”

In publishing the 1901 & 1911 census online, NAI has made important records available free of charge to the many millions of people in Ireland and worldwide who seek to trace their Irish ancestors. The project's success is reflected in website usage; over the 30 months from December 2007 to May 2010 (when initially only the 1911 census returns were available on-line) the website received more than 7 million visits and more than 270 million hits.

In accepting the Award, NAI Director David Craig said: “We greatly appreciate receiving this award from the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations. We are very pleased that the success of this venture has been formally recognised by the body that brings together in one council such a wide range of organisations active in the field of Irish genealogy.”

Pictured R-L: David Craig, NAI director; Catriona Crowe, NAI Senior Archivist; Steven Smyrl, CIGO Chairman.

More about the Irish Census.
More about CIGO.