Thursday 25 April 2024

Fifteen Dublin City databases taken offline for redevelopment

The popular site which hosted fifteen free-to-access collections (see list below) was taken offline on 4 March 2024. According to a subsequent tweet, this action was taken by Dublin City Council, which manages the site, as "a precautionary measure due to cyber security concerns". I assumed this was a newly identified technical issue that would be quickly corrected. And then I forgot about it. Apologies.

Unfortunately, it looks as though there is no speedy fix in sight.

The reason the material was removed is that the site needs to be redeveloped to meet the EU's Web Accessibility Directive of 2016.

Web accessibility allows everyone, including people with disabilities, to perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Internet. So what was that about the cyber security concerns?

DCL&A, Pearse Street, Dublin 2

In an undated statement released on the Council's online news pages, the organisation apologises for the inconvenience and adds: "Until such a time as the site can be redeveloped in accordance with the EU’s Web accessibility Directive, material previously accessed online must be accessed instead via the Dublin City Library & Archive (DCLA) Reading Room, 139-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Where possible, we will add links to digital catalogues and listings as soon as possible. Please contact to make an appointment to view materials."

The phrase "Until such a time as the site can be redeveloped" sounds ominous, doesn't it?

But so does the increasingly frequently heard 'make an appointment'. Isn't it quite the fashion statement since Covid. Previously open throughout normal office working hours, the DCLA Reading Room is another of those repositories to have switched to appointment-only access. Appointments have to be booked in advance and are usually available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Here's the full list of databases affected:

~ Ancient freemen of Dublin (1461 to 1491, and 1564 to 1774)
~ Cemetery Burial Registers (Clontarf, Drimnagh, and Finglas)
~ Community Memory
~ Dublin City Electoral Lists 1908 to 1915
~ Dublin Directory 1647-1708
~ Dublin Guild Merchant Roll
~ Dublin Graveyards Directory
~ Medieval Manuscripts of Dublin
~ Parish Registers
~ The Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log book, Easter 1916
~ The John V O'Connor Papers, 1692-2015
~ The Index to Dublin City Council Minutes 1881-1987
~ The Monica Roberts Collection