State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries is illustrated in a new online archive that shows how thousands of women were held against their will.
The project is a collaboration between Justice for Magdalenes Research and Waterford Institute of Technology.
The searchable database contains thousands of documents.
Dr Jennifer O’Mahoney says it shows that the state was complicit in the operation of the laundries.
She said: Another method would be showing how girls might have been sent from the criminal justice system directly into the laundries as a form of internment.
"Women wouldn't have been sent very typically to prisons at the time, and this is where they were sent instead.
"So, it's any document like that showing that the state was directly involved in girls ending up behind the walls of a laundry."