MA MA(Lib) MCLIP
There are many, many research resources available now online. Fortunately many of these are free to access (or free to search). During the course of my research projects I’ve been collecting links to resources for some time. I've now put this database online so that they'll be easily available to me and anyone who is interested.
The resources are organized by subjects: these are accessible under headings on the sidebar here. This is an ongoing project so more resources will be added over time. There are now over 300 links to resources included.
General (includes data repositories, guides, journals, newspapers, etc) – Bibliography – Births marriages deaths – Census and census substitutes – Directories – Gravestones – Land – Manuscripts – Maps – Occupations (including art, education, legal, medical (incl. nursing), military (includes naval/ air/ merchant navy), nobility, police, politics, railways, religious, science) – People – Places – Historical societies in Ireland – Other societies of historical interest – Digital projects and links to information about digitisation
I've written up some notes (including short bibliographies) about some topics that I needed to investigate in order to get some context. Please remember that they are not complete and all details should be checked.
Research Note No 1: The Poor Law, workhouses and children in post Famine Ireland (721 downloads)
Research Note No 2: Genealogical material in the Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society (298 downloads)
Research Note No 3: The building of the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Cork city (309 downloads)
Research Note No 4: Using Directories for research, and introducing Gazetteers (493 downloads)
In 2017 I completed a major digitisation project — the complete run of the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society from 1892 to 2007 — 115 volumes in all. The journal proper consists of over 22,000 pages with over 3,000 pages of additional material as well. A table of contents database had to be created, this consists of 5,502 records each of which is a bibliographical item and is linked to a PDF file. PHP in conjunction with MySQL is used to create a simple search interface.
These figures conceal the processes involved in going from page to screen. My aim was to ensure that users could browse by volume (displaying the contents of each issue or volume together as if one was looking at a table of contents) or search by title keyword or author name. To this end, the articles and thus PDFs are numbered sequentially within each volume so that they appear in the order in which they were published. All files are searchable as optical character recognition was used on each page image. The final file sizes have been reduced significantly by examining how the images are stored at each stage of the workflow. Each PDF file includes a ‘front page’ that includes the bibliographical details of each item together with links to terms and conditions. Finally, every page is watermarked to show information about the source of the file.
Number of pages per volume, JCHAS 1892-2007 © Margaret Lantry 2017
In the process no journals were disbound (although this decision carried an overhead in terms of time) so that they are preserved for future use. A range of software was employed, most of which was open source or freely available.
The end result is that due to the foresight of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society an important Irish journal is available for all online. In addition, I have donated the index database, which I created some years ago and this is now also searchable online. This makes the Digital JCHAS webpage a powerful tool when researching the history and archaeology of the south of Ireland, particularly Cork county. I have contributed more information about Digital JCHAS and the Indexes to the CHAS blog.
There are some vital and crucial places to start your research, such as libraries, archives and other databases — here are a few.