Thursday 23 November 2023

Irish Distillers archives to be released on Digital Repository Ireland

Historical documents from the Irish Distillers Archive are to be digitised and released with free access in the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI). This is the first such DRI partnership with an Irish commercial company.

Irish Distillers produces some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Its Archive is based in Midleton, County Cork, and is home to extensive records documenting the history and heritage of the company, including records dating back to the 18th century created by John Jameson & Son, John Power & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company before the companies merged to form Irish Distillers in 1966.

Preserved in the archive are items such as minute books documenting the workings of the historic distilleries and the companies that ran them, handwritten ledgers containing financial records, some dating from the late 1700s, as well as more modern commercial records, historic mashbills and labels from all over the world which show the global reach of Irish whiskey over 100 years ago.

Preserving these important records for the long-term will offer researchers and the public alike a unique insight into social and industrial heritage, food and drinks history, as well as design culture. I would expect that, as with the Guinness and Jameson archives (both of which have some of their archives available online), there will be a considerable amount of genealogical detail and stories to be discovered within the material.

Work has already begun on identifying suitable archives from the collection at Midleton. Once digitised, the selected materials will be uploaded to the Repository over the next 18 months.