A unique collection of autograph books owned by prisoners at the time of the Easter Rising is now available to view online.

The Office of Public Works says the website offers a fascinating insight into the the lives of those who were imprisoned during the period 1916 to 1918.

It covers a variety of different prisons and places of incarceration, as well as focusing on the lives of the prisoners themselves.

Niall Bergin from Kilmainham Gaol Museum said the original autograph books are the most requested items to view in the Gaol's archive.

"People always have stories along the lines of 'my great great grandfather was involved in 1916'. But they can't find the records in the military archives or in the UK archives at Kew. However, that great great grandfather might just appear in one of our autograph books," he said.

It was very common in the early 20th Century for people to own an autograph book.

The OPW says this collection features pictures, poems and political statements, as well as signatures.

In total, the Kilmainham Gaol Museum autograph book collection contains over 12,000 names of those who were incarcerated between 1916 and 1923.

The new website will be expanded to include additional autograph books in the coming years.