150 years of 'Irish Times' goes online
From ireland. Tuesday, 11th September, 2007
A fully searchable online archive of The Irish Times, from the newspaper's first edition almost 150 years ago up to the present day, has been launched.
The extensive archive includes every newspaper issue produced, including the assassination of US President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the 1916 Rising and the birth of the Republic.
It also features exact digital reproductions of the newspaper covering more events such as RTE's first broadcast in 1962, the decades of the Troubles in the North, visits to Ireland of John F Kennedy and Pope John Paul II, the end of apartheid in South Africa and the 2001 September 11th attacks in the United States
Genealogists and those researching their ancestors should also find the site of particular interest. Birth notices, obituaries, social notices, court reports and inquests give considerable insight. Written in the language of the time, reports also reflect the social and historical background of daily life.
Digitisation of the microfilm began in 2006, working with specialist firm Olive Software to develop the archive. The archive contains over 1,100 reels of 35mm microfilm with about 700 individual page images per reel.
Digitisation involves scanning the images stored on microfilm and placing them in a searchable format online. A digital archive contains exact reproductions of the printed version of the paper, with all the pictures, headlines and text of The Irish Timesin the same format as they were originally produced at the time of microfilming.
The project was co-funded by The Irish Timesand Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and developed in association with An Chomairle Leabarlanna An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library council of Ireland). Both primary and secondary schools and public libraries will have free access to the service.
Access to the archive will also be available through The Irish Timeswebsite, ireland.com. The general public, universities and companies will be able to access the service for research of historical events between 1859 and the present day.
The official launch event will take place in the Mansion House on October 8th.