Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury

Reconstructing Seven Centuries of Ireland’s Lost History

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About

Thar 2022 Amach: Maoinchiste Annála Shamalta na hÉireann
Beyond 2022: Ireland's Virtual Record Treasury

On 30 June 1922, at the outset of the Irish Civil War, a cataclysmic explosion and fire destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland at the Four Courts, Dublin. Flames and heat consumed seven centuries of Ireland’s recorded history, stored in a magnificent six-storey Victorian repository known as the Record Treasury.

On the centenary of the 1922 blaze, Beyond 2022 will unveil Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury​—a digital reconstruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland building and its collections.

Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury​ will serve both as essential platform for academic research and a public resource with global reach and impact.

Partners

Beyond 2022​ represents a collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and its archival partners:

  • National Archives (Dublin)
  • The National Archives (UK)
  • The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland  
  • The Irish Manuscripts Commission  

The project is funded by the Irish Research Council and supported by Trinity’s ADAPT​ Centre and Making Ireland​ Research Theme. Read more... 

Work

Using state-of-the-art technological advances, Beyond 2022 will deliver:

Virtual and augmented-reality reconstruction

A detailed reconstruction of the destroyed Record Treasury will be built from original plans and documentary sources, containing engaging content for users of all ages and interests. Read more..........

Inventory of loss and survival

The Beyond 2022 team is working to assemble a complete inventory of loss and survival of the 1922 fire. This will serve as a vital hub to connect the lost records with substitute sources in archives and libraries around the world. Read more..........

‘Gold seams’ of substitute sources

Beyond 2022 seeks to identify ‘gold seams’ of substitute sources. A gold seam is a critical mass of rich, substitute sources that relate to a historically significant series of destroyed records. Read more..........

Digitisations

Beyond 2022 is bringing Ireland’s Public Record Office back to life by creating a 3D virtual reality reconstruction of the destroyed Record Treasury building and refilling its shelves with fully-searchable surviving documents and copies of the lost records. Read more..........

Impact

This international, collaborative project seeks to ensure a lasting and meaningful legacy — with significance for all communities in these islands — and an invaluable resource which will continue growing beyond the current decade of centenaries. The project will provide a means of re-connecting with 700 years of Ireland’s past, once believed to have been lost forever.

The collaboration between Trinity and its archival partners —The National Archives (Dublin), The National Archives (UK), The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and The Irish Manuscripts Commission — is a symbolic moment. It represents imaginative cooperation in order to realise a shared ambition of recreating virtually the holdings of the Public Record Office of Ireland by the year 2022.