Wednesday 26 June 2024

Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland: 1922 Fire - Anniversary gifts for genies: Part I

Over the last week and continuing this week, the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland (VRTI) team has been making daily releases of newly digitised material and resources available on its website. This feverish activity is to marks the 102nd anniversary (on 30 June) of the 1922 fire which destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland, then housed at the Four Courts in Dublin. Much of the island's genealogical and other documentary heritage went up in flames that afternoon.

The VRTI or is a digital representation of a lost archive. The team, and its partners around the world, are using digital technologies to reconstruct materials and release historical memories previously thought lost.

Below you'll find brief details of some of the newly added records and resources released so far during this exciting anniversary event. It is not comprehensive. I have included only those gifts that I think genealogists will want to dive into.

The releases will continue to roll out until next week, I think, so I'll do a Part II to this blogpost when all is online. In the meantime, I'll urge all you Irish family historians to keep an eye out on social media (#VirtualTreasury102).

Although I don't know the details, I can tell you there is definitely one release yet to come that has 'Census of Ireland' all over it.

Dublin Gazette: This publication was the official newspaper of Dublin Castle. It was published between 1705-1922 and while no complete run of all published issues survives, the VRTI is working to reassemble this unique source by combining the holdings of the team's archival partners. The curated collection now online highlights the mid-eighteenth century, reflecting not only elite politics but also daily life, from street-crime to food prices and shipping news. Find out more.

1798 Rebellion Papers: This curated collection comprises a searchable database to the Rebellion Papers, a key collection held by the National Archives of Ireland. The Rebellion Papers are a unique collection of letters, mostly relating to the years surrounding the 1798 Rebellion, and consists of letters sent to the Chief Secretary’s Office in Dublin Castle, written by a range of correspondents: from postmasters and magistrates, to military generals and police constables. The papers mostly date from 1790 to 1808. The curated collection gives a comprehensive overview of this complex set of documents, and provides item-level descriptions of their contents. Find out more.

Map Room: The 1922 Fire is not the only anniversary in town! The Ordnance Survey of Ireland (OSI) marked it 200th birthday yesterday. The VRTI's new curated collection – Map Room – has an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 beautiful historical maps and charts representing all parts of the island. It is divided into three elements: Pre the Down Survey of the 1650s; between the Down Survey and the first Ordnance Survey of the 1840s; from the 1840s to 1922. Visit the curated collection here and the newly launched full collection, including Letters, Memoir Drawings, Memoirs and Name Books, at

Exploring the Age of Revolution, 1760-1830: A spanking-new image gallery resource highlighting some of the amazing material held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. The documents include reports covering a variety of types of unrest. These range from food riots and social protest, to revolutionary conspiracy and political agitation. Find out more.

Genealogy Resources on VTRI: This new and expanded Genealogy page provides guidance aimed specifically at family historians and is designed to help you when researching some of the name-rich records in the Virtual Treasury. Check it out here.

See blogpost Part II.