Tuesday 7 March 2023

National Library of Ireland launches redesigned website

The National Library of Ireland has given its website a complete overhaul, which means you'll need to reoirentate yourself on how to navigate the site. As with the National Archives of Ireland site's recent redevelopment, it clearly seems to be a case of having resdesigned the website with a tablet and phone market in mind, there are lots of overly large images and text, with more scrolling now involved on the front pages ("Mobile responsiveness: In order to better cater to the needs and wishes of our visitors, the website is fully tailored to browsing on desktop and mobile devices" - sigh!). However, it does now look more modern, and the whole site is now fully bililingual between English and Irish (Gaeilge).

Here are some quick steers on the layout:

The main website is accessed at https://www.nli.ie.

The Catalogues page is accessible at https://www.nli.ie/collections/using-our-collections/search-help, and the Sources catalogue (for post-1990 catalogued manuscripts) is still independently accessible via http://sources.nli.ie. As before, the main catalogue also includes digitised materials, and is relatively straightforward to use. 

General Collections are described at https://www.nli.ie/collections, with digital collections acessible at https://www.nli.ie/collections/our-collections/newspapers.

One of the most useful resources on the previous version of the site was its Newsplan Project and database and Newspaper catalogue. It now looks like these need to be accessed in a different way, via https://www.nli.ie/collections/our-collections/newspapers. To search for a newspaper in an area, type in the name of the area, do the search, then filter down using the 'Newspapers' tag found under 'Narrow Search' to the right of screen. Titles from a particular area will then be presented as a series of catalogued entries, with accession information. At the end of an entry for a particular newspaper is a link marked 'Get more information: Newsplan: Report of the Newsplan Project in Ireland. Revised edition (1998)', which then takes you to a digitised version of the report from 1998, rather than just a database search for other titles in an area. You can also access the report directly at https://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000042992. This is a bit of a pain in the neck, to be honest, but at least the information is still accessible. 

The Family History section of the site is at https://www.nli.ie/family-history. The Getting Started section at https://www.nli.ie/family-history/getting-started offers free chart and worksheet template, but the info on useful genealogy collections is sourced from the Further Research section at https://www.nli.ie/family-history/further-research, covering various topics from Civil Records (very nicely including a link to GRONI in the north!) to Military Records.

A useful list of eResources is also available at https://www.nli.ie/collections/our-collections/e-resources.

Overall, it's not too much of a revolution, it's just that the text and pics are all now MUCH BIGGER IF YOU'RE ON A PC!!!! The change to access the newspaper information is a bit unfortunate, but we'll survive...! 

A press release on the launch is available at https://www.nli.ie/news-stories/news/nli-launches-new-website

(With thanks to Claire Bradley via Twitter at @cbgenealogy)


Pre-order Tracing Your Belfast Ancestors at https://bit.ly/BelfastAncestors. Also available - Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records, Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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