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Irish Distillers announces ground-breaking partnership with the Digital Repository of Ireland to provide future access to archival collections

November 13, 2023

Historic documents from Irish Distillers’ private archive will soon be digitised and available to search for free on the Digital Repository of Ireland

Irish Distillers, producer of the some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, today announced a ground-breaking partnership with the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), the national body charged with providing long-term, sustained digital preservation and access to Ireland’s humanities, cultural heritage, and social sciences data.

Irish Distillers is the first Irish commercial company to partner with the DRI in this manner. The partnership will see records from the Irish Distillers archive digitised and uploaded to the Repository and made openly available from anywhere in the world.

The Irish Distillers Archive, based in Midleton, Co. Cork is home to extensive archival records documenting the storied history and heritage of Irish Distillers. This includes records dating back to the eighteenth century created by John Jameson & Son, John Power & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company before the companies merged to form Irish Distillers in 1966.

Preserved in the archive are items such as minute books documenting the workings of Irish Distillers’ historic distilleries and the companies that ran them, handwritten ledgers containing financial records, some dating from the late 1700s, as well as more modern commercial records, historic mashbills and labels from all over the world which show the global reach of Irish whiskey over 100 years ago.

Irish Distillers, producer of the some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, today announced a ground-breaking partnership with the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), the national body charged with providing long-term, sustained digital preservation and access to Ireland’s humanities, cultural heritage, and social sciences data.

Irish Distillers is the first Irish commercial company to partner with the DRI in this manner. The partnership will see records from the Irish Distillers archive digitised and uploaded to the Repository and made openly available from anywhere in the world.

The Irish Distillers Archive, based in Midleton, Co. Cork is home to extensive archival records documenting the storied history and heritage of Irish Distillers. This includes records dating back to the eighteenth century created by John Jameson & Son, John Power & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company before the companies merged to form Irish Distillers in 1966.

Preserved in the archive are items such as minute books documenting the workings of Irish Distillers’ historic distilleries and the companies that ran them, handwritten ledgers containing financial records, some dating from the late 1700s, as well as more modern commercial records, historic mashbills and labels from all over the world which show the global reach of Irish whiskey over 100 years ago.

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Carol Quinn, Head of Archives at Irish Distillers said

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The story of our brands and distilleries has significant social and historic relevance. Brands such as Jameson have a lasting historical legacy in terms of distilling records, wage books, photographs and other artefacts which we preserve at our archive in Midleton.”

We have such a rich documentary archive with unexpected research value. Even routine correspondence with distinctive letterheads can offer a glimpse into the history of printing and design in Ireland. We have been looking for a way to make as much material as possible available for public research to as a wide a community as possible, and now in partnership with the DRI we have someone one who can help and advise on that process,”

In partnership with the DRI’s team of digital archivists; records will be identified, digitised and then ingested to the Repository. Preserving these important records for the long-term will offer researchers and the public alike a unique insight into Irish history: including social and industrial heritage, food and drinks history, as well as design culture.

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Dr Lisa Griffith, Interim Director at DRI said

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“We are delighted to share the news of our new partnership with the Irish Distillers Archive. They are the first commercial archive to make its records available for open access online through the Digital Repository of Ireland. This will provide ground-breaking access to their archive, allowing researchers to investigate these collections from a wide range of angles, and share this rich resource with the wider public.”

Work has already begun on identifying suitable archives from the collection at Midleton. Once digitised, the selected materials will be uploaded to the DRI portal over the next 18 months.

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