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The History of Irish Lights, a talk by archivist Niamh Collins

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The talk will give an overview of the history of Irish Lights and provide an introduction to the Archive and its contents.

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The Archive of Irish Lights is a source not just of maritime history, but also for the wider social, political, military, engineering, architectural, scientific and administrative history of Ireland in the 19th & 20th centuries.

Just as importantly, it is a source for personal and family history. Irish Lights employed countless generations around the coast of Ireland for over two centuries. The earliest records in the Archive date back to 1810 when the Lighthouses (Ireland) Act extended the powers of The Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin to cover all powers, duties and functions relating to lighthouses around the coast of Ireland.

A major project is currently underway to preserve and catalogue the Archive of Irish Lights. The Archive project is prioritising records of greatest historical significance and in addition to routine preservation and cataloguing, a number specialised conservation and digitisation projects are currently ongoing.

The Archive project has brought to light many key documents that illustrate the richness and scope of the Irish Lights Collections. The project forms starting point for potential future research.

This talk forms part of the Irish Society for Archives Lecture Series 2021-2022. The Irish Society for Archives was founded in December 1970 to promote the place of archives in Irish society. Members are welcome from all over Ireland and overseas.

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