Digitising our Primary School Past

Digitising our Primary School Past

2015/2016 Projects

This project will photograph the Registers and Roll Books of the Primary Schools of North Mayo creating an electronic record of these archives.

With rural schools being amalgamated, many records are being lost while others are being degraded in school attics. The Republic of Ireland is sadly unique where the state has no policy regarding the preservation of these invaluable records going back in some cases to the 1850s, especially in cases where schools close. Volunteers will use smart phone technology in tandem with innovative OCR and image compiling software to create PDF copies of these books in a cost-effective way. It is envisaged that Special Collections of the NUI Galway Hardiman Library will hold the electronic archives and make them available for academic research, subject to data protection terms and local use policies.

Project Team & Links

Project Updates

Agreement has been confirmed from the following National Schools in the Killala diocese regarding copying of their National School Record books:

Ballycastle NS, including Belderrig NS and both the Boys and Girls Schools of Ballycastle village
Mount Palmer NS, including Ratheskin NS and Annaghmore NS
Carn NS, including Crocnacally NS
Glenmore NS (via Fr. Brendan Hoban)
Richmond NS (regarding a selection of books)
Rathnamagh NS

The record books have been retrieved, labelled and catalogued. Photographing will be commencing shortly.

Agreement has been confirmed from the following National Schools in the Killala diocese regarding copying of their National School Record books:
We are in process of retrieving these as per our SOP.

Rathkell NS
Nephin NS
Templemary NS
Killocraun NS
We are in the process of copying the following records: Ballycastle NS including *Belderrig NS, and the Boys and Girls Schools of Ballycastle village.

The Books have been retrieved, Labelled and cataloged and returned for the following schools:

Carn NS including Crocnacally NS.
Glenmore NS (via Fr. Brendan Hoban)
Richmond NS (regarding a selection of books)
Rathnamagh NS
Mount Palmer NS including Ratheskin NS and Annaghmore NS

In total the books from a total of 19 schools (including extinct schools) were digitized, including: Day Report Books; Roll Books; Registers; and Misc. Documents. These digital files now wait processing.

Future expansion of this project should see grant aid funding secured for the digitization of the records of the remaining schools in North Mayo including the Parishes of Ballina, Laherdaun, Knockmore and Lacken. And the remaining schools in Killala, Ardagh, Crossmolina, Cooneal. While training and funding should be secured to ensure the records are compiled into a research friendly and project secure format.