TCD web project resurrects long-lost ghosts of Irish history


THE FRUIT of 40 years work by historians at Trinity College Dublin, a new website goes live today which will provide access to more than 20,000 historical documents which it was thought were lost forever when the Public Record Office was destroyed in the 1922 Four Courts bombardment.

The documents from the medieval Chancery of Ireland have been reconstructed by historians searching in other archives and are being made available through a web project – CIRCLE: a Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters c 1244–1509.

The chancery, established shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169, issued letters in the king’s name under the great seal of Ireland. Copies were then transcribed on to long rolls of parchment known as “chancery rolls”, which were destroyed in the Four Courts blaze.