English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Design, construction and operation of a Microsoft Access database to accommodate records of L.W. Brockliss’ and P. Ferté’s ‘Irish clerics in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: a statistical study’ Thomas Byrne

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Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Design, construction and operation of a Microsoft Access database to accommodate records of L.W. Brockliss’ and P. Ferté’s ‘Irish clerics in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: a statistical study’
Author
  • Thomas Byrne
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • This database project was conceptualised to facilitate the transfer of the existing set of records of Irish clerics who trained in France compiled as the result of scholarly research by L. W. Brockliss and P. Ferté and now lodged with, and published by, the Royal Irish Academy, to a digital format. Dr. Brockliss has kindly granted permission for his work to be employed in this project. The records representing the four archiepiscopal provinces of Armagh, Cashel, Dublin and Tuam are at present spread over 115 pages of a prosopography entitled Irish clerics in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: a statistical study’. This study is arranged by archiepiscopal province, and then by each constituent diocese with an alphabetical listing of surnames. The data represents an undertaking to extract extant relevant material relating to Irish clerical students who studied in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although six Irish colleges existed to train Irish priests in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries at Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Douai, Toulouse and Lille (a seventh, Poitiers had closed in 1766), in practice the Brockliss and Ferté’s researches were limited to those to found at Paris and Toulouse. The records of the other colleges have, unfortunately, not survived the passage of time and at best only fragmentary morsels of this information can be located. However this unfortunate deficiency in the archives is less of an impediment to compiling a record of Irish priests in France than it may seem at first sight, since a great many of those who went abroad to study gravitated toward Paris, and the authors themselves wished to present their work merely as a starting point for further research and study on this subject rather than as the comprehensive or definitive conclusion. Indeed the situation as regards the availability of primary facts on this period has been summed up as follows: Researchers in the humanities and social sciences in Ireland currently lack access to coherent, comprehensive information on the thousands of Irish people who travelled to Europe between the Reformation and the French Revolution. Apart from a number of monographs the European Irish are unknown. This situation has impoverished practically every area of research in historical, social and cultural studies, leaving a significant element of the Irish historical experience untouched by serious scientific research. (The Irish in Europe project) The aim of this project then is to take this data which, at the moment, by its size and format is difficult to access, and transfer it to an immensely more flexible electronic database format. This would have the crucial advantage of improving accessibility and efficiency, whilst easily allowing new information to be entered. It would utilise the considerable power of a computer program to carry out complex searches and computations using a query facility. Using the analytical capability of the computer program to examine what will be a cohesive database of an actual community of people rather than a disparate collection of individuals also raises the exciting prospect of detecting patterns and correlations not previously observed. The over reliance on the details of prominent but often unrepresentative high profile individuals can be replaced with a more inclusive picture of the wider community, utilising the equally valuable records of the many less celebrated members of this Irish migrant society. An electronic database will also be more amenable to expansion as knowledge in this area grows, being far less complicated and costly than the publication of additional supplements to a printed work. In addition this information when contained in an electronic database can be easily linked to other related database projects in the future as research on the migration of Irish people, and their modes of integration into host societies in the Western European region develops, perhaps under the auspices of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.
  • RePEc:nir:nirwps:wps07
Language
  • English
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