Reconstructing Seven Centuries of Ireland’s Lost History

Beyond 2022 is bringing Ireland’s Public Record Office back to life by creating a 3D virtual reality reconstruction of the destroyed Record Treasury building and refilling its shelves with fully-searchable surviving documents and copies of the lost records.

Using state-of-the-art technological advances, Beyond 2022 will be built from original plans and documentary sources, containing engaging content for users of all ages and interests.

The collaboration between Trinity University and its archival partners —The National Archives (Dublin), The National Archives (UK), The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and The Irish Manuscripts Commission — is a symbolic moment. It represents imaginative cooperation in order to realise a shared ambition of recreating virtually the holdings of the Public Record Office of Ireland by the year 2022.

The Beyond 2022 team is working to assemble a complete inventory of loss and survival of the 1922 fire. This will serve as a vital hub to connect the lost records with substitute sources in archives and libraries around the world. Beyond 2022 seeks to identify ‘gold seams’ of substitute sources. A gold seam is a critical mass of rich, substitute sources that relate to a historically significant series of destroyed records.

This international, collaborative project seeks to ensure a lasting and meaningful legacy — with significance for all communities in these islands — and an invaluable resource which will continue growing beyond the current decade of centenaries. The project will provide a means of re-connecting with 700 years of Ireland’s past, once believed to have been lost forever.
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