Wednesday 24 May 2017

Irish Historic Towns Atlas: full digital series now online

The Royal Irish Academy has released the final planned editions in its Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) digital series. This time, it's the development of the 19th-century town that's under scrutiny.
Bray and Belfast (Part II, 1840 to 1900) are the towns
explored in today's last-in-the-series digital release.
This is the period that includes the Famine; mass-emigration from the countryside; the completion of Ireland's canal network; the growth of railways, trams and factories; the construction of barracks, gaols, workhouses and asylums; and a massive Roman Catholic church building programme as the Penal Laws ended.

Bray and Belfast (Part II, 1840 to 1900) are the towns explored in this digital release.

Each of the digital editions is published with the relevant chapter from Reading the maps: a guide to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas* 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.

You can see the line-up of 25+ digital IHTA editions here.

* By Jacinta Prunty and H.B. Clarke (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2011)