Friday 21 October 2016

The National Archives and National Library welcome increased funding allowances for 2017

Top: The National Archives of Ireland
Below: The National Library of Ireland
Last week's allocation of funds from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs (DAHG) included budget increases for two of the institutions most familiar to Irish genealogy researchers: the National Library (NLI) and the National Archives (NAI). They received additional funding for 2017 of €300,000 and €200,000 respectively.

Speaking today at a seminar for civil and public servants to consider the challenges of preserving electronic records, Director of the National Archives John Mc Donagh said that this almost 20% increase in day-to-day funding would ensure that the NAI's strategies can continue to be actively progressed through the Decade of Centenaries.

"These strategies include advancing the development of the records management plan and a number of digital initiatives. In addition, work is continuing on our major redevelopment plan, which will significantly increase the volume of archival storage on the Bishop Street site in Dublin 8. Researchers will benefit from the recently reopened Reading Room which has been upgraded with new lighting and air-handling facilities to offer a more comfortable environment for those using this facility and to protect the records themselves.

“As we move towards 2022, and the anniversary of the destruction of the Public Records Office of Ireland, we welcome this on-going commitment by the Minister and her Department to the archival record, and the development of new technologies and approaches to ensuring its preservation and continued accessibility in Bishop Street and online."

The National Library also welcomed the increase in the repository's increased budget. Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library, said it would be used to great effect in addressing some of the priorities outlined in the NLI's 2016-2021 Strategy and in the digitisation of key material for the Decade of Centenaries. She said it was a further step in creating an exemplary 21st century National Library for Ireland, following last year's capital investment of €10 million in the Library's buildings.

“Given the National Library’s major engagement with Ireland 2016, we also welcome the announcement of funding of €5 million for implementation of the Culture 2025/ Ireland 2016 Legacy Programme. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the DAHG on this exciting development, and building on the success of this remarkable centenary year.”