A unique collection of archive material illustrating the first ten years of An Garda Síochána has now been digitised .
The work was carried out by the special collections section of the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick.
The Garda Review Archive is a collection of digitised volumes of the Garda magazine from 1923 to 1932, covering the first ten years of the establishment of the Irish State's police force from the Civil War through the early years of the state.
The Garda Review was established in 1923, a year after An Garda Síochána was founded and is now the longest established magazine in Ireland.
The archive, now fully searchable, comes as a result of collaborative work between the Glucksman Library and its Special Collections and Archives unit along with the Gardaí to digitise the first 10-year run of the Garda Review and make it accessible via the UL digital library facility.
The digitised collection includes early accounts of policing and policing policy, divisional news and movements and transfers of individual Garda, Irish language articles and sporting accounts.
The issues include numerous photographs, drawings, and period advertising and the new digital collection is completely searchable, rendering names and place names open to researchers.
The collection was launched today by Deputy Garda Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, who worked for many years as a Detective and Superintendent in the Limerick division and also has a long association with UL, along with Provost and Deputy President of UL Professor Shane Kilcommins and Ciara McCaffrey, interim director of the Glucksman Library.
Deputy Commissioner McMahon said: "This project, which commenced during our Centenary year, represents a strengthening of our partnership with the University of Limerick, and presented a unique opportunity to preserve should a valuable and historic archive, using the state-of-the-art facilities in the Glucksman Library.
"The collection will represent a fascinating look at what was the formative years of An Garda Síochána, not only from an organisational perspective, but also a unique look at the social side of An Garda Síochána at that time. It gives a significant insight into the community and sporting history of An Garda Síochána during those formative years, which ensured we remained an organisation embedded in our communities, and of our communities.
Professor Kilcommins said: "This shift to the digital in the deeply collaborative ties between An Garda Síochána and UL marks a new milestone in the relationship between the two organisations.
"The state-of-the-art, high quality photographic scans available on the platform and the long-term preservation features of the system mean that this material will be openly accessible to researchers for many years.
Ciara McCaffrey said: "The launch of the UL Digital Library late last year means that UL's unique and priceless collections are opened to digital interrogation by a global, as well as local, cohort of researchers.
"The inclusion of the Garda Review in the UL Digital Library means that the Irish-facing, early 20th century gems of this publication are now available to a global 21st century audience. This project is a wonderful example of cultural heritage in the digital age and provides researchers with exciting new ways of exploring Ireland's history."