Following on from the successful digitization of the 1913 editions of The Church of Ireland Gazette last year, and continuing its commitment to mark the Decade of Commemorations, the RCB Library is pleased to present all 52 editions of The Church of Ireland Gazette for 1914 in a fully searchable format online.
The Gazette provides the longest–running public commentary on the Church’s affairs. Consequently, it is a recognised resource for understanding the complexities and nuances of Church of Ireland identity, both north and south, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life throughout the island. The RCB Library holds the only complete run of paper – from the first issue in March 1856 up to the present date bound up in hard copy volumes for each year where they remain an invaluable resource. However, like collections available elsewhere (such as the National Library of Ireland) the hard copy is suffering wear and tear and is cumbersome to use and research from.
All the 1914 issues are fully searchable online, alongside the existing copy for 1913. Browsers can just enter any key word or phrase of interest in the search box, and then view the list of relevant entries as they appear in chronological order, viewing each either as a single page, or in the wider context of the particular issue of the newspaper in which it appears.
Of particular interest will be the commentary on the war as it began and progressed into the winter of 1914. A special column entitled “The War Week by Week” became a permanent feature from 21 August 1914, and provided weekly graphic detail of the Allied campaign for readers. There is also some fascinating editorial commentary from the Gazette’s lay editor, W. B. Wells, who elsewhere had described himself as ‘imparted of Nationalist sympathies’ – but used his weekly editorials to galvanize support for the war effort in Ireland, viewing recruitment drives in Ireland as having a potential ‘unity of purpose’, north and south.
The RCB Library in collaboration with the Editor and Board of the Gazette now aims to complete the other years – initially the three remaining ones of the First World War and of the Decade of Centenaries, 1912–22, by seeking philanthropic support from individual sponsors for specific years, or an outright full cost donation, either to sponsor a specific year during the First World War period, or in the Decade of Commemorations, but ultimately to complete the project. Full details of how to support by making a charitable donation are now available online or by contacting the RCB Library.
For more information visit the website here: www.ireland.anglican.org/library/archive