Monday 4 March 2019

Centenary republication of Woods' Guide to the PROI
Click to download the pdf
This year is the centenary of the publication of Herbert Wood's guide to the Records Deposited in the Public Record Office of Ireland. Just three years after it was originally published, nearly all the records in the PROI were destroyed during the Civil War, making the Guide an essential reference document for recognising what was lost and what might be reconstituted.

To mark the centenary, well-known genealogy tutor Sean Murphy has produced a free online facsimile of this notable archival work. It comes with an introductory essay providing biographical information about Herbert Wood, commentary and photographs, and valuable appendices, and is reproduced with the permission of the National Archives of Ireland, the PROI's successor body, whose own digitised copy of the guide is online here.

At under 30Mb, Sean's facsimile is more than half the digital size of the NAI's onliine copy. Click/tap the cover image, right, to download a copy.

Launching his facsimile edition, Sean said: "Wood's work is something more than a guide to a lost archive, rather it is a template for archival reconstruction and a warning to guard against another archival catastrophe like that of 1922. Wood’s legacy is visible in the growing range of surviving and transcript public records being made accessible online today (see Appendix 1 of the prefatory essay). Hopefully the republication of Wood’s Guide will ensure that its continuing value will be more widely appreciated."