independent

Thursday 23 November 2017

Wexford past goes digital at new library service

By david Tucker

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POSTCARDS FROM THE ARCHIVE: 1, Gorey Main Street; 2, South Main Street, Wexford; 3, Bridge Street, New Ross; 4, Ballyhack from the air; 5, Slaney Place, Enniscorthy; 6, Market Square, Enniscorthy; 7, South Main Street, Wexford, viewed from near the top of Anne Street; 8, North Main Street, Wexford, with the old White's Hotel on the right; 9, South Main Street, Wexford, from King Street; 10, North Street, New Ross, with the Tholsel in the background.
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wexford is going digital with the county council library service launching a new service detailing the rich and varied history of the model county in words and images.

Sinead O'Gorman, Senior Executive Librarian with Wexford County Council Public Library Service said the digital material includes local journals, photographs and postcards and historical texts relating to Wexford.

The local historical and parish journals collection includes The Past, Taghmon Historical Society Journal, Wexford Historical Society (Old Wexford Society) Journal and the Kilmore Parish Journal.

The photographs and historical postcards of County Wexford collection includes historical postcards of places in County Wexford and aerial photographs from the Billy Colfer collection.

There are also a selection of 19th and 20th Century historical texts and records relating to County Wexford, including Griffiths' Chronicles of the County of Wexford to 1877; Fraser's Statistical Survey of the County of Wexford, (1807); O'Donovan's Ordnance Survey letters - Wexford; Lacy's Sights and Scenes in Our Fatherland, (1863); and Grattan Flood's History of the Diocese of Ferns, (1916).

'with this software we can incorporate a rich variety of content into our collections - photographs, slides, sound clips, digital video, conference proceedings, research papers, e-journals, electronic theses and dissertations, and much more,' said Sinead.

The Digital Local Collection will be formally launched by Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Paddy Kavanagh on Tuesday, May 25, at 7 p.m.

The launch will be immediately followed by a lecture by distinguished historian and former Head of Special Projects at the National Archives, Catriona Crowe.

Catriona will speak on the topic of 'Fragility, Intelligence and Salvation: the advantages and challenge of archives digitisation.'

All are welcome to the launch and lecture afterwards. Phone 053 9196760 for more information or to book a place.

The digital archive will make Wexford related local studies material available for research, study and enjoyment to a wide audience in Wexford and nationally and internationally.

The collection will be immediately expanded with the inclusion of the oral history interviews, recorded over the last 10 years.

A digitisation strategy will guide the development of the Digital Local Collection. This strategy will determine, what is digitised; how Wexford Public Libraries can make cultural treasures available digitally; and, how to develop community archiving, capitalising on the community participation in the commemorative programme, all the time preserving records of our heritage for future generations of Wexford people and diaspora.

To view the local collection see http://digital.libraries.wexfordcoco.ie

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