Hard to believe I've been here a week already. Today the group started their research at the National Library. At 9:30 when the Library opened, we had an orientation by both the library staff and by the genealogy advisory service. The National Library is a closed stack library, which means that most of the material is stored away and has to be requested. Once requested, it is brought to the reading room for your use. In order to be able to order material you must have a reader's ticket, which is provided by the Library after you register.
One of the main collection used by genealogists at the Library are the Roman Catholic Parish Registers. Ideally, you need to know the parish (Civil) where your ancestors lived. There are finding aids in the genealogy advisory office which help you convert the Civil parish name to the Roman Catholic parish, and provide the microfilm number. This is one area that does not require a reader's ticket as the films are in a cabinet in the microfilm reading room and are self service. Most of the researchers spent at least part of the day working with parish registers. The dates covered by these registers will vary…some start in the late 1700s and others not until the 1850s.
In addition to the parish registers, computers in the genealogy service provide free access to a number of databases including Origins.net and FindMyPast.ie. Also accessible are the Irish Newspaper Archives which contain a limited number of Irish papers. The Library also maintains a huge collection of local and regional newspapers that are not digitized. They are available either on microfilm or as originals. These can be very useful if you know the date of an event, such as a death, and want to look for a death notice or obituary.
Tomorrow is a day at the National Archives, but because of a change in their opening, we went there tonight for an orientation. Clearly a lot to consume in one day! But after a brief presentation we had the run of the facility to check out the finding aids and decide what to work on. First stop tomorrow is the reader's ticket for the Archives.
We stopped for dinner on the way back to hotel, and when we arrived, the street was barricaded and Garda were all over. It seems they are preparing for massive demonstrations tomorrow in front of the Dáil (the Parliament) which sits between the National Library and the National Museum just across the street from our hotel. Should be interesting…stay tuned.
National Library Reading Room
If you missed the earlier blogs: