Tuesday 24 January 2012

National Archives of Ireland - new website

What in the name of God has the National Archives of Ireland gone and done? It's not often I see a major archive revamp its website and find it an unbelievably backward step, but unfortunately the NAI has done just that with its online presence at www.nationalarchives.ie.

Where before the site had several key databases that could all be easily found and searched individually, for example the Australian Transportation Registers and the Famine Relief Commission Papers, these all appeared to have disappeared when I went looking for them and instead been replaced by one solitary catalogue, which was as clear as treacle to operate. Is this a complete catalogue - there's a few headings in a Browse section beside it, but absolutely no indication of how complete it is or what it holds? When I typed in a name and looked for several people, nothing popped up.

It took some time but I found one of the old databases eventually. When I went to the Genealogy Section, I found an Introduction page, from which I had to click on Genealogy Records, then a link that says Ireland-Australia transportation records (1791–1853). At this point when I clicked on it I had to download the entire database as a CSV file document to be read by Excel, rather than just perform a simple search as before. I've since spent twenty minutes looking for the Famine relief database and the old Dail Eireann database, and I'm still not there.

Aesthetically the site looks tidier, but maybe it is just the Ulsterman in me, as I am looking at this new site and experiencing one simple thought repeatedly. NO, NO, NO....


(With thanks to Claire Santry at the Irish Genealogy News blog)


1 comment:

  1. That is not good - the Irish Transportation database was a very important and useful resource.

    Jenny Joyce