Ireland Announces Agreement with Library and Archives Canada

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John O'Donoghue, T.D., Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, announced on December 6th, 2005 a groundbreaking international cultural agreement between the National Archives of Ireland and the Library and Archives of Canada. This agreement will see the Irish Census Records for 1901 and 1911 digitized, indexed, and placed online for free access by the 70 million Irish diaspora around the world.

The Dublin Census Records of 1911 will be the first phase to be completed by December, 2006. The records will detail the name, age, sex, marital status, occupation, county, and county of birth of everyone listed in every domestic dwelling, prison, hospital, industrial school, etc., including their literacy level, ability to speak Irish, the number of years women were married, and total number of children born.

At the agreement signing, Ian Wilson, Head of Library and Archives Canada, commented, "We share an ethos with the Irish government of free access for all to their heritage and we welcome this opportunity to use our expertise in connecting even more Canadians to their history."

The first full government census of Ireland was taken in 1821, with further census at ten-year intervals from 1831 through to 1911. The census for 1861 and 1871 were destroyed shortly after they were taken, the 1881 and 1891 censuses were destroyed for pulp paper in the First World War, and those for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851, except for a few exceptions, were destroyed in a fire in 1922.

Thirteen percent of Canadians can trace their ancestry back to Ireland.

The website of the National Archives of Ireland is located at and the Library and Archives Canada is located at .

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