The ongoing project to digitise the historical issues of the Church of Ireland Gazette has entered a new and exciting phase, with the successful uploading and indexing of this invaluable resource for the period 1911–1923. It is re–launched in January 2016 through the Church of Ireland website.
All the editions for the revolutionary period 1912–1922 (with an additional year either side of that) have been scanned and made fully searchable. This means that a total of 155 weekly editions may now be freely viewed and searched online by researchers all over the world, bringing to light this crucial period from a Church of Ireland perspective in general, and also making it possible to find hitherto hidden events, people and places through the pages.
Written and read by lay and clerical members of the Church of Ireland, the Gazette (in print since 1856) provides the longest–running public commentary on the opinions and attitudes of members of the Church of Ireland, and indeed the wider Protestant community on the island. It is thus a recognised resource for understanding the complexities and nuances of this identity, North and South. The project to make it available for research and public interest is a collaborative venture between the RCB Library (which holds the only complete hardcopy set) and the Editor and Board of the Gazette, and to date has been funded largely through sponsorship.
At the start of 2016, it is particularly appropriate that the Church of Ireland can now bring to light how it viewed events such as the 1916 Rising and Battle of the Somme, and make another contribution to memory and knowledge for the Decade of Commemorations.
For a range of fascinating reports, insights and various topics, the public is now invited to explore the Gazette.
The Church of Ireland Historical Centenaries Working Group wish to acknowledge the valuable contribution and support of the Commemorations Programme of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in bringing both these projects to completion.
The RCB Library, which manages the project, is delighted to acknowledge the support of the Irish Government for this significant contribution to knowledge, and service provider Informa for delivering the exceptionally high–quality search engine, which is available via this link from 1st January 2016: