Women were conducting research in the Public Record Office from the early years, both as scholars and as paid genealogists. Isabel Grubb (1881-1972), the Irish Quaker historian, was one such scholar, who used its collections extensively in the autumn of 1915. Some of her carefully typewritten notes were returned to the Record Office following the fire. They show an interest in social and economic life in Ireland, at a time when political and military matters and the history of ‘States’ predominated in academia. Isabel’s notes about records that were subsequently destroyed in the fire, touch on all aspects of everyday life across the towns of 18th century Ireland, including Limerick, Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny and Armagh. She referenced, for example, a petition of 1721 from Limerick to the Irish parliament, then situated at College Green, for relief of the poor who ‘flock to the city on account of dearth and mortality of cattle’.