Sunday 27 November 2011

1926 census possibly online in 2016

It's always good to hear that plans to provide new resources have not been quietly shelved while we weren't looking, even if that provision is still some way off in practice. So, it was pleasing to read this week that the digitisation of the 1926 census, the first undertaken by the Irish Government, is still on the Government's 'wish list'.

In a written response to questions from TDs Denis Naughten and Aengus Ó Snodaigh last week, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Deputy Jimmy Deenihan said that, 'subject to resources and the resolution of legal and other issues', it was his intention to have the 1926 census returns digistised and made available online as a 1916 centenary project.

Okay, that's not exactly imminent, but I'm sure we can live with the delay. What concerns me more is that the plan seems to be stuck in the 'wish list' basket. Surely such a project needs to get underway much sooner than later if the returns are to be fully digitised and made available with images and any redactions demanded by the lawyers within little more than four years. The digitisation of the 1911 census took from December 2005 to August 2009.

Let's hope the 1926 project gets the green light soon.