A CENTURY’S worth of Limerick Leader editions - dating from 1905 to 2004 - has been made available online for the first time, in a digital and searchable format.
It means that those seeking information about almost everything that happened in the Limerick area for those 100 years can now find it in seconds, from the comfort of their own homes.
Every week at the Leader we get phonecalls from local people asking questions like this:
“My grandfather made the front page of the Leader sometime in the Fifties and I’d love to see the article - is there any way of getting it?”
Up to now, we’ve only been able to direct these readers towards the city and county libraries, which hold microfilm collections of the paper, and advise them that without a date they will struggle to find the article.
The digitization of the archive changes that forever: just type in any name or other search words and in just a few seconds every reference published over the course of an eventful century will come up.
Historians, students and anyone else who has spent countless long hours trawling through microfilm at local libraries in search of often elusive information will now have the ability to find what they’re looking for in a fraction of the time.
Every page of every edition has been broken into individual, search-friendly components - from the biggest news stories to the adverts of the day, weddings, funerals, obituaries, council meetings, hundreds of thousands of court cases - and countless other happenings.
While the copyright remains with the Limerick Leader, all pages or individual articles can printed for personal use or emailed to friends and family.
This landmark new service is the result of co-operation between the Limerick Leader and Irish Newspaper Archives, which now boasts more than 20 local and national Irish newspapers in its collection.
Access to the site is by subscription and the complete collection is available to subscribers. The cost varies from €10 for access over 24 hours, €25 for a week, and upwards.
The Limerick Leader will receive a portion of the income received from subscribers who come to the site from our own website. This revenue is of considerable importance to us, as we strive to continue providing the people of Limerick and the Mid-West with an unrivalled local news service. The newspaper industry is undergoing profound change and for papers like the Leader, with a distinguished record of service over generations, our unique archives provide a key source of income needed to fund the journalism of tomorrow.
To visit the Irish Newspaper Archives site, please click here.
The Leader also receives, on a regular basis, enquiries from readers asking if they can purchase framed front pages - particularly from the birth dates of family members, or famous local events such as the winning of the All-Ireland in 1973.
That option has now been made available, also in partnership with Irish Newspaper Archives, and its sister website Memorable Moments.