The revolution will continue
The revolution in online record access continues. So what can we expect in 2015?
The Big One is the arrival online of the National Library’s microfilm collection of Catholic parish registers. So far, this remains on track for early summer, despite outraged protests from some heritage centres and some Catholic bishops. The public response to the plan, both from Ireland and abroad, has been overwhelmingly positive. Let’s hope this helps the Library to resist any push-back.
The Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 passed into law in December. It is now, at last, legal for the State to allow access to full registration records. Hallelujah. As in Northern Ireland, this will be restricted to births over 100 years old, marriages over 75 and deaths over 50. Be patient. This is just the first step in the process, so we won’t get them this year.
What we will get this year – on irishgenealogy.ie – is the return of the Civil Registration indexes. Expect uber-caution, and searches unnecessarily restricted to the same year- range as above. The site’s small print may also demand you pledge your first-born to the Data Protection Commission.
For Dublin researchers, Dublin City Library and Archive is aiming to unify and expand the databases currently at dublinheritage.ie making everything easily searchable from a single interface and expanding the voters’ list, cemetery and directory records already available.
FindMyPast will continue its hyperactivity, with new records from the Kew National Archives as well as more Irish newspapers from the British Library, and even more collaboration with our own National Archives to go with the recently-completed dog licence and local court records.
Ancestry.com also has some interesting new acquisitions – specifically a big Northern Ireland deaths index due this month. More of the wonderful Catholic parish register images may be offered to them.
We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there.