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by Brenda Collins
"Original census returns, on household forms, generally completed by the head of the household, constitute one of the building blocks of primary material for the study of history in the nineteenth century and later.
Within the British Isles, censuses organised by the state were undertaken every ten years between 1801 and 1911.
Within Scotland and in Ireland the census administration was undertaken by the relevant government departments which is why the survival of the original enumeration information of the household returns and the access to these valuable records has been no means uniform throughout the British Isles."
This article examines the availability and uses of Irish census records from the 20th century.