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Library and Archives Canada Connects Canadians to their Irish roots: New Genealogical Records Available Online

(Ottawa) December 22, 2008- Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce that its partner, the National Archives of Ireland, has launched the next important phase of an online census research tool for the Irish counties of Antrim, Kerry, and Down for 1911. The census records for all counties for 1911 and for 1901 will be made available online throughout 2009.

Library and Archives Canada signed an agreement with the National Archives of Ireland in December 2005 and the two institutions have been working to make the censuses of Ireland for 1901 and 1911 accessible online, free of charge. Library and Archives Canada's contribution included digitizing microfilm reels, linking images to the database and making the records searchable by name.

"With 70 million Irish diaspora around the world, and up to one-fifth of Canadians claiming Irish heritage, this project will connect even more people to their historical roots," stated Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Making these records accessible online will give genealogists and historians around the world the chance to explore the age, occupation, religion and marital status of individuals. It will also allow research on Irish society of the early 20th century. The National Archives of Ireland have provided vibrant historical essays on topics such as social life, government, sport and religion and photographs depicting life in Ireland in 1911.

Library and Archives Canada and the National Archives of Ireland collaborated on other projects including the popular website The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf: Irish-Canadian Documentary Heritage at Library and Archives Canada and two Irish studies symposia were held in Ottawa in 2006 and 2008. There will be additional phases added to the census online in the coming year.

To visit the Irish Census Online and the virtual exhibition on life in Ireland in 1911, please, go to: www.census.nationalarchives.ie.

For more information or for information on Library and Archives Canada and the National Archives of Ireland's partnership, please visit ARCHIVED - The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf at: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ireland/index-e.html.

About Library and Archives Canada
The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

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Information:
Isabelle Gaudreau
Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada
819-934-5787