How do you tell the story of Northern Ireland's Troubles, the conflict between Irish republicans and the British army, Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist paramilitary groups, in which almost 4,000 people died between 1968 and 1998? A group of journalists came up with one solution. Over a seven-year period, they examined every death which was directly caused by the Troubles. They interviewed many witnesses and drew on previously published material. Never before had conflict anywhere in the world been subjected to such meticulous scrutiny. The end result was this object, the reference book Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children Who Died Through the Northern Ireland Troubles. It lists the deaths of the 3600 men, women and children killed as a result of the Troubles. The book now finds itself on the shelves of Belfast's Linen Hall Library. Since 1968 the Library has sought to collect all printed material relating to the Troubles. In the intervening three decades, we have amassed over a quarter of a million items.