About Beyond 2022 – creating the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

Beyond 2022 is an all-island and international collaborative research project working to create a virtual reconstruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland, which was destroyed in the opening engagement of the Civil War on June 30th, 1922.

The ‘Record Treasury’ at the Public Record Office of Ireland stored seven centuries of Irish records dating back to the time of the Normans. Together with our 5 Core Archival Partners and over 40 other Participating Institutions in Ireland, Britain and the USA, we are working to recover what was lost in that terrible fire one hundred years ago.

On the centenary of the Four Courts blaze next year (30 June 2022), we will launch the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland online. Many millions of words from destroyed documents will be linked and reassembled from copies, transcripts and other records scattered among the collections of our archival partners. We will bring together this rich array of replacement items within an immersive 3-D reconstruction of the destroyed building.

The Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland will be an open-access resource, freely available online to all those interested in Irish history at home and abroad. Many of the most important memory institutions worldwide are joining us in this shared mission to reconstruct Ireland’s lost history. The Virtual Record Treasury will serve as a living and growing legacy from the Decade of Centenaries.

Collaborations

Beyond 2022 is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under Project Ireland 2040. We are proud to have inspired a unique collaboration between our Core Partners and a growing list of Participating Institutions in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • The National Archives (Ireland)
  • The National Archives (UK)
  • The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Belfast)
  • The Irish Manuscripts Commission
  • The Library, Trinity College Dublin

Work

Across the globe, more than seventy repositories hold substitute materials that can replace the documents destroyed in the Four Courts blaze. Our ground-breaking research will identify these records, replenishing the Record Treasury to a greater extent than ever imagined. Read More…

Thanks to pioneering digitization techniques, it’s possible to automatically transcribe large volumes of handwritten records. Digitization will allow users to connect, group and search diverse records from archives across Ireland and the World. Read More…

Over 50 million words once believed to be lost to history can be reconstructed. Discoveries on this scale indicate the potential of Beyond 2022 to enable the rewriting of the Irish story across the past millennium.
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What was once believed lost forever is being recovered, record by record, shelf by shelf. Beyond 2022 will reveal a rich and complex new layer of Irish history across the past millennium, providing.
Read more…

Impact

When the completed Beyond 2022 Virtual Record Treasury launches on June 30th, 2022 — the centenary of the Four Courts blaze — it will offer:

  • 3-D  Immersive experience providing Next Generation Access to the Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality model of the Public Record Office of Ireland and replacement collections
  • Inventory of loss and survival from the 1922 fire
  • Digitized image collections from the archives of Core Partners and Participating Institutions, including conserved and listed selections from the National Archives of Ireland’s ‘1922 Salved Records’
  • Searchable content across manuscript and text records of 50+ million words documenting seven centuries of Irish History
  • Knowledge Base for Irish History enabling the seamless linking across multiple collections both within and beyond the Virtual Record Treasury