Irish society and culture have changed beyond recognition since Conradh na Gaeilge (The Gaelic League) was founded in 1893, and Conradh na Gaeilge played a central role in those changes. The documents and publications created during that period are the best evidence which survives of that process of change and the key role Conradh na Gaeilge and members of Conradh na Gaeilge played in it. In organising one of the most important projects being funded by Ireland 2016, we will, for the first time be a making a systematic and coordinated effort to organise Conradh na Gaeilge’s collection of documents, to preserve them, and to make them available to the public in fresh, creative, and contemporary ways.
The work of digitising An Claidheamh Soluis and other important documents has already begun. This is a difficult, challenging task, which will involve the processing of over 15,000 pages. As a result of this work, the most important bilingual sources on early 20th Century Ireland will, for the first time, be made easily accessible to students, pupils, researchers, and people all over the world. Links to the digital An Claidheamh Soluis will be available on cnag.ie and issuu. As 2016 progresses, more documents will be added to the digital collection.
Because of the advanced age of the documents in Conradh na Gaeilge’s collection, there is an urgent need for preservation work to be carried out on the bound copies of An Claidheamh Soluis and the Branch Registration Ledger in particular. This work will continue throughout 2016