National Archives funding


Sir, – Catriona Crowe’s interesting article on projects recently launched by the National Archives (Opinion, May 18th) inadvertently draws attention to a difficulty arising when new information from the archives is released for the benefit of the general public – which difficulty undoubtedly arises from a lack of adequate funding.

A few years ago, the Archives released fascinating detail arising from the National Censuses of population for 1911 and 1901. The wealth of information thus becoming available to genealogists, historians, etc, was surely invaluable to many researchers, but regretfully, not to everyone. Searching for my own family name, and knowing the precise address at which they lived in 1911, I was disappointed to discover that the occupants thereat were listed as the “McFlewaine” family, despite the fact that the Christian names and dates of birth involved were otherwise correct in all respects. A quick click of a button on the original document, revealed that my grandfather’s clear handwriting had been merely transcribed incorrectly. Appreciating that such errors can easily arise, I availed of the “correct this record” option, and assumed that the problem would be resolved. Three or four years later, the incorrect entry remains unchanged, and I am advised that there is little likelihood of a correction in the immediate future, due to lack of funding.

Should the National Archives strive to correct the records already released to the public, before embarking on further releases which may contain similar inaccurate detail, to the frustration of all concerned? – Yours, etc,


Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow.