A new database of source materials for Irish research, entitled simply “Sources,” has been launched by the National Library of Ireland. I did a search on the word, “genealogy,” and came up with 9,446 hits. Not bad! Following is an excerpt from an article by Dick Ahlstrom in the November 12, 2009 edition of The Irish Times.
BOOKS OF Irish interest held in libraries around the world have become almost instantly available, with the launch of a new service organised by the National Library of Ireland.
The Sources Database for Irish Research catalogues books and periodicals of Irish interest held in the National Library and research centres and universities in the US, Britain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
“We have an interactive map which shows you how the information has dispersed,” assistant keeper Katherine McSharry said yesterday.
Launched yesterday by Minister of State Dr Martin Manseragh, the internet based system (http://sources.nli.ie) is grounded on the Hayes Sources, a huge printed catalogue of Irish bibliographical references originally begun almost 70 years ago under former library director Dr Richard Hayes.
“Richard Hayes’s vision was to get everything,” Ms McSharry said. The new digitised Sources reflects this, with 196,574 records on publications covering an amazing range of subjects.
This includes art, architecture, history, politics, literature and the sciences. “There is a huge amount of genealogical material,” Ms McSharry said.
Sources contains up to 170 periodicals held in the library’s own collection, with references to 40,000 books and documents held in Dublin. It also delivers almost 160,000 more references to publications held abroad. Sources provides information about the books and documents but also links to the institutions holding them so that copies can be organised.