Old lady of D’Olier St is new belle of the ball

11 Sep 2007

Iconic events such as the sinking of the Titanic, the birth of our Republic and the shooting of JFK as captured by the Irish Times during her 150 year-old history can now be accessed through online access to the paper’s archive.

Previously, the Irish Times’ archive dated back only as far as 1996. But now, as part of a joint venture between the paper and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and developed in association with An Chomairle Leabarlanna An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library council of Ireland), key events are now searchable at www.ireland.com/search/

The archive contains every issue of the Irish Times spanning key events such as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the 1916 Rising and the World Wars can be accessed.

The archive also contains exact digital reproductions of the newspaper covering more recent events such as RTE’s first broadcast, the Troubles, the visit of JFK and Pope John Paul II and the September 11th attacks in the US exactly six years ago today.

Digitisation of the newspaper’s microfilm began last year in collaboration with specialist firm Olive Software.

The archive contains over 1,100 reels of 35mm microfilm with about 700 individual page images per reel.

Digitisation involved scanning the images and putting them into a searchable online database. The digitised archive contains exact reproductions of the printed version of the paper, with all pictures, headlines and text in the same format they were in at the time of microfilming.

To access the new archive pricing starts at €10 for a 24-hour pass.

By John Kennedy