The Irish National Archives of Ireland has made the Irish Census of 1901 available online from today. This follows on the 1911 census, which became available in full last year.

Visitors to the website will be able to unearth information on individuals in each county under surname and name searches.

The other search options include literacy status, occupation, religious affiliation, specified illnesses and Irish language proficiency.

The entire 1911 Census has been available online since 2008, but the 1901 site took longer to prepare because there was better microfilm available for the later one.

The latest census data was made available through a research partnership between the National Archives of Ireland and Library and Archives Canada, which allowed  the digitization of the 1901 and 1911 Census records to preservation standard.

Since the 1911 Census was put on the Internet three years ago, a staggering seven million visits have been recorded to the Irish website.

The images and databases are improved by material consisting of historical commentary, photographs, digitized documents from the period from Ireland and Canada and links to relevant scholarly and genealogical sites.

In addition to returns for every household in the country, the census records data from  police and military barracks, public and private asylums, prisons, hospitals, workhouses, colleges, boarding schools and industrial schools among other institutions.

The returns for both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses also give details of houses, recording the number of windows, type of roof and number of rooms occupied by each family.

Each house is classified according to its overall condition. The number of out-offices and farm buildings attached to each household is also given.
The National Archives hopes to link directly to the printed Census reports from 1901 and 1911, which are being digitized by the UK Data Archive.

According to the National Archives, this would greatly enhance the scholarly value of the site.
They also say that it would probably be feasible to do a follow-through exercise on Irish individuals and families who emigrated to Canada, finding them in the Irish Census and later in the Canadian census.

 The Canadian experts have also  mounted an online exhibition of documents in their custody relating to the Irish in Canada, accompanied by text from scholars in the field. The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf can be found here.