Mallon Technology

Case Study

Department of Defence

The Problem

The Department of Defence hosts a significant collection of military archives at the Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, Dublin.  The archives form an important part of the history of Ireland, detailing information of military personnel who have served in the Irish Defence Forces.

As a centrepiece to the Irish centenary celebrations in 2016, it was decided to release a large part of the Military Pensions collection, in reference to the period 196–1923, for the public to access online.  This was undertaken to inspire greater discussion, research and a greater understanding of the lives of those who helped secure independence.

The Department of Defence required a team that were capable of capturing a large volume of documents to a consistently high standard.

What We Did

In total there were 600,000 historical records to capture.  These records varied in size from A8 to A3 and they were deemed to be in a reasonable condition with a minority that were very delicate and fragile.

As the documents were of national historical importance the collection had to be captured on–site at the Cathal Brugha Barracks.  The documents were captured using flatbed scanners, single page at a time to ensure the quality and integrity of the material.  All images were captured in preservation TIFF format with derivative JPEG and PDF documents also created.  Documents were then passed through our 100% quality assurance process to ensure optimal quality throughout the dataset.

The Benefits

  • The vast collection is now available online, providing access to numerous people who previously wouldn’t have had access
  • Researchers are able to provide new insights into the lives of those serving in the armed forces during independence
  • Multiple people can access the same record at any one time
  • The physical paper records will be preserved and protected from handling damage
  • A digital archive has been created ensuring records can be recovered in event of a disaster