Tuesday 25 April 2017

Historic Towns Atlases released online for C18th towns

The Royal Irish Academy has released more digital editions in its Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) series. This time, it's the development of the 18th-century town that's under scrutiny.

This is the period in which the Big House flourished in the countryside, and their wealthy owners often looked to transform their local town by remodelling its layout with graceful parades and ornamental avenues, enclosed parks overlooked by quality housing with uniform frontages, and a good handful of architectural style statements in the form of neo-classical public buildings.

Dundalk, Maynooth and Dublin (part II, 1610 to 1756) are the towns explored in this release.

Each of the digital editions is published with the relevant chapter from Reading the maps: a guide to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas by Jacinta Prunty and H.B. Clarke (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2011) and includes the full text of the printed edition (essay, topographical information, bibliography, appendices, notes for each town) as well as a selection of maps.

The Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) is a research project of the Royal Irish Academy that aims to record the topographical development of a selection of Irish towns both large and small. It has been publishing maps and publications about Ireland's towns and cities since 1986, and is part of a wider European project that explores historical towns according to a fairly rigid formula of detailed enquiry and presentation. The 'formula' allows comparisons across the continent.

The resulting publications examine the topographical development of each town during key periods in their history.

Clues to the town's past religious life, defence and security, local and national government, industry, trade, transport, education and leisure habits are explored within the accompanying maps. Dense and accurate, these atlases reveal fascinating details about the physical environment and communities our ancestors lived in.

The digital editions exploring Towns in the 19th century (Bray, Belfast part II, 1840–1900) are expected to be published next month.

See the line-up of more than 20 digital IHTA editions here.