National Archives updates online catalogue to include fascinating early 19th century State papers – Minister Humphreys
The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the launch of a significant update to the online catalogue of archives from the Chief Secretary of Ireland’s Office for years 1823-1830. The publication by the National Archives of this important resource will enhance access to one of the most valuable collections of early 19th century archives in Ireland. The Chief Secretary’s Office, located in Dublin Castle, was a key political office for the British administration at the time.
As well as the official records, the archives include unofficial correspondence from private individuals and bodies, from a debtor pleading to be released from a cholera infected prison to a woman seeking to accompany her convict husband to New South Wales. The archives also contain petitions accompanied by long lists of signatures, providing an untapped resource for local historians and genealogists alike.
The cataloguing of this collection has been undertaken by archivists at the National Archives funded by the Crowley Bequest and the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“I am very pleased to announce the online publication of this fascinating material by the National Archives. The updated website includes a catalogue containing over 33,500 items, providing a rich insight into Irish political, social, religious and economic life in the early 19th century. The records include petitions, police reports, official memoranda and private correspondence which flowed into and out of the Dublin Castle administration.
“The Chief Secretary’s Office was a key political office for the British administration in Ireland at the time, with direct control over issues such as policing, health, religion, education, public infrastructure, the postal service, pensions and charity, liaising closely with the military and legal entities such as the Attorney General and local magistrates. These archives contain not just the official records but also unofficial records from private individuals and bodies, so I am sure this material will be of great interest to historians and all those who take an interest in Anglo-Irish relations.”
Notes to Editor:
These archives are diverse and voluminous, containing much more than just the official record.
They include unofficial correspondence from private individuals and bodies – the Waterloo veteran unsuccessfully seeking a police job; the debtor pleading to be released from a cholera infected prison; the anonymous ‘Captain Rock’ threatening death and destruction to a local landlord or the agent; the wife seeking to accompany her convict husband to New South Wales; the crown witness facing intimidation pleading for money to emigrate. The archives also contain petitions accompanied by long lists of signatures – an untapped resource for local historians and genealogists alike.
The archives were originally housed in the Record Tower of Dublin Castle under the custody of the Keeper of State Papers and were transferred to the National Archives premises on Bishop Street, Dublin in 1991, where they currently reside.
The online catalogue is available at www.csorp.nationalarchives.ie and the original documents are freely available for public consultation at the Reading Room of the National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin, subject to the normal rules of the National Archives.
The project is largely funded by a bequest from the late Professor Francis J Crowley, professor of French at the University of California, Los Angeles and son of Irish-born parents. Professor Crowley bequeathed most of his estate to be used for the preservation of records of the history of the Irish people.