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Prestigious Genealogy Award for Clare Library

Clare Champion, Friday, 26th November 2010

Clare County Library has scooped a major award for its outstanding work in the field of genealogy.
[Note: award given officially to the library on Thursday 10th February 2010 at a reception in DeValera Public Library, Ennis]

The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO), at its recent annual general meeting, announced that the Clare library had won the 2010 Award for Excellence in Genealogy. This is the fourth year of the award and previous winners include the National Archives of Ireland and The Irish Times.

The CIGO said the award was not only in recognition of the facilities provided in the Local Studies Centre at Ennis, which includes a magnificent collection of Clare newspapers and the recently acquired microfilmed parish registers, but particularly the online genealogy section of the library’s website.

The website includes invaluable transcriptions of Tithe Applotment Books, gravestone inscriptions with photographs, school rolls and indexes to newspaper extracts and so on. The value of these resources is further enhanced by the cross-linked townland and parish indexes and maps, which help researchers to identify Clare place names.

CIGO found that the website sets an extremely high standard for data provision to which other libraries should be encouraged to aspire. In recognising the libraries achievements in genealogy, CIGO also acknowledged the contribution of all those who have donated time and material to make the website the success that it so clearly is.

Clare County Library’s Local Studies Centre is a reference library and research centre dedicated to the collection of material on any aspect of County Clare. Located at the Manse, beside the de Valera Library in Ennis, and staffed by Peter Beirne and Brian Doyle, the centre is open to the public free of charge. Much of the material in the Local Studies Centre has been digitised and published on the library website by the library’s information services department, based in library headquarters.

Anthony Edwards is responsible for the website as a whole, while the bulk of the material on the website about County Clare is sourced, edited and prepared by Maureen Comber with the assistance of Teresa Carmody-O’Shea. This includes information on the archaeology, folklore, history, literature, people and places of Clare as well as the substantial genealogy and family history resources.

Clare County Librarian Helen Walshe praised both the staff in the Local Studies Centre, who welcome thousands of visitors to the centre each year, while also responding to hundreds of email queries from all over the world. She also praised the staff of the library ICT & Information Services Department for creating such an obviously appreciated website and making so much information about County Clare available online to the more than 400,000 visitors to the website each year. She also thanked all those who have transcribed and donated material for inclusion on the website, and those who have identified people and places in the online photo collection.

The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations is a lobby group for the various national and international organisations sharing an interest in Irish genealogical research which campaigns for better and greater access to source material.

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