Background image: BW photo of Four Courts explosion seen from above Dublin roof tops. Text overlay of title of talk

LUCAS Annual Lecture: The Dublin Fire of 1922 and the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

Thursday 25 April 2024 | 18:00 - 19:30

  • Booking Required

LUCAS Annual Lecture: How to Reconstruct a Lost Archive in the Digital Age - talk by Dr Peter Crooks (TCD) on Ireland's Virtual Treasury

Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies (LUCAS), in association with The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, and The Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (LCMRS), are delighted to welcome Dr Peter Crooks (Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Trinity College Dublin) for the LUCAS Annual Lecture. Dr Crooks will discuss the efforts to reconstruct Irish records lost in the destruction of the Four Courts in 1922.

On June 30th, 1922, Public Record Office of Ireland (PROI) at the Four Courts, Dublin, was destroyed in the opening engagement of Ireland's Civil War. The ‘Record Treasury’ of the PROI was a magnificent archive that held seven centuries of Ireland’s records. This priceless cultural storehouse was destroyed in a single afternoon. One hundred years after the Four Courts blaze, the Treasury was re-born in the digital age as the 'Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland' ( The Virtual Treasury reconstructs over seven centuries of Ireland’s documentary heritage. The earliest record to survive dates from 1174, shortly after the Normans first came to Ireland and the island was claimed as a possession of the English crown. This talk takes you inside the Virtual Treasury. It tells the story of the disaster of 1922 and of how a unique partnership framework between memory institutions in Ireland, Britain and around the world is unlocking tens of millions of words of Ireland's documentary heritage thought to be lost to history.

Dr Peter Crooks is a medieval historian at Trinity College Dublin specialising in the political cultures of Ireland and Britain in the later Middle Ages. He is also the founding Academic Director of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland (VRTI). In 2022, the Archive and Record Association awarded VRTI its highest distinction, the ‘Roger Ellis Prize’ — only the tenth time the prize has been awarded in the past fifty years. As a medievalist, he is editing the New Cambridge History of Britain, vol. 2: 1100–1500, and has published widely on the comparative history of colonialism and empires, on the history of concepts, on historiography, the ‘social history’ of the archive, and digital humanities.

  • Arts & Culture
  • Talk

Event location

Where to attend

  • Rendall Building | Bedford Street South, Liverpool, UK, L69 7WW
  • LT 7