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Section title: National Archives of Ireland
Cultural Agreement with the National Archives of Ireland

Ian E. Wilson
Librarian and Archivist of Canada

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Map of central Dublin from the program of the Second Golden Harp Festival, Dublin (October 1-6, 1967)

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On December 6, 2005, Library and Archives Canada signed a groundbreaking cultural agreement with the National Archives of Ireland (www.nationalarchives.ie) at a ceremony in Dublin. The agreement is to have the Irish Census records for 1901 and 1911 digitized, indexed and placed online for free access by the 70 million descendants of the worldwide Irish diaspora.



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Eagle's Nest, Killarney, Ireland (1912)

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As national cultural institutions, we share an ethos of fostering accessibility to our heritage and welcome this opportunity to use our expertise to connect even more people to their history. As the Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O'Donoghue, said at the ceremony, "Our records hold precious insights into Irish family history for millions at home and abroad. We hope this service in collaboration with our Canadian partners will connect many people globally to their cultural roots."

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Map of Ireland showing western districts administered by emigration committees

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The Irish Census Project will digitize over 3,000 census microfilm reels, bring together a topographical index created in Ireland and help create an index of names. These components will allow researchers from around the world access to digital images detailing name, age, sex, marital status, occupation, county and country of birth. This multi-year digitization project is largely financed by the Irish Government.

This agreement embodies a dynamic, ongoing collaboration between Library and Archives Canada and the National Archives of Ireland -- two institutions that are dedicated to sharing their unique documentary heritage with the world.

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