I would also like to reciprocate the compliment by highlighting a couple of my favourite links and features accessible from the NLI website which I think are invaluable for your Irish family history research.
- Of course, the most uniquely exciting development on the NLI website this year has been the release of digital access to their collection of Roman Catholic parish registers, on which much has been written (see my own July blog here.)
- However, as a great fan of the rich source of material to be found in Irish newspapers, I would particularly like to highlight their Irish Newspapers Database. I recommend that you start your search of this database by county to get an idea of the titles that were nominally associated with them. Remember to consider neighbouring counties if your ancestors lived close to the county border and there were perhaps one or more reasonably large towns capable of supporting a newspaper nearby. When you click on a title, take some time to familiarise yourself with any history of changes of name as this might help you get further back than you first thought. Although the primary purpose of this NLI database is of course to help visitors to the library to find the references they need to order microfilm on site, the link to the NEWSPLAN database may help you to find similar materials elsewhere. Another reason I am very fond of this database is because it played a truly extraordinary part in my own family history research that I have written about on my Kindred Ancestry blog ... who knows, it could happen to you too!
Be sure to check out the other NLI Family History pages for advice and guidance. Their Catalogues and Databases page also gives details of how to navigate to other resources that may be useful, but like all major library and museum databases, you sort of need to know what you're looking for in order to find it. However, you have nothing to lose by lobbing assorted search terms into the catalogue search engine and see what might come up. For example, I've been playing around with searching for maps of particular localities I'm interested in as I believe that the NLI has a good collection of maps, which I intend investigating further on my next visit.