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Irish History Online Project History

Drawing on decades of voluntary work by compilers and editors of Writings in Irish history (published in print format in Irish Historical Studies since 1938) the compilation of the Irish History Online bibliography continues to rely principally on the work of volunteers.

The creation and publication of an online version from earlier printed bibliographies, and its continuation as an online resource to the present time, was made possible through project grants from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2003-6 and 2006-9. In 2003-6, Dr Anthony McCormack and Ms Mary Murray were employed at NUI Maynooth to create the online database and input retrospective records from "Writings in Irish History" 1938-2002. In 2006-9, Dr Frank Cullen enhanced the bibliographic coverage of the history of the Irish overseas, expanded other aspects of the bibliography and input data for more recent publications. During both these phases the compilation of data on new publications was done by Ciaran Nicholson (TCD) and Máirín Cassidy (UCD), working in a voluntary capacity. The IHO project benefited from collaboration with the Royal Historical Society Bibliography, and particularly the advice and assistance of Peter Salt. 

Since the conclusion of the second phase of funding from the IRCHSS on 1 October 2009, Irish History Online has been hosted by the Royal Irish Academy and the database is managed by the Royal Irish Academy Library. The project continues to benefit from the support of the Irish Committee for Historical Sciences.

Our former partner project, the Royal Historical Society Bibliography, opted to change to a new publication model. Since January 2010 a new Bibliography of British and Irish History (in partnership with the Royal Historical Society, the Institute of Historical Research, and Brepols publishers), has been available as a subscription-only service. Further details are available on The divergent funding models being adopted by the two projects means that Irish History Online no longer forms the Irish component of the new Bibliography of British and Irish History. We are exploring ways of ensuring that maximum cooperation between the two projects will continue for the future, particularly in the area of new data compilation.

Since the online version first went live in 2004, Irish History Online has proved to be a highly useful and reliable bibliographic reference resource for researchers and students in the field of Irish history. The online database contains over 109,000 bibliographic records (in January 2020).

Irish History Online is committed to continuing to provide a quality service that is free to users.

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