Northern Ireland’s public records office is currently working its way through hundreds of files of material relating to the book Lost Lives.
The Department of Communities has confirmed that an archive relating to the book, which lists everyone who lost their lives during the Troubles, has been deposited with the Public Records Office Northern Ireland (PRONI).
According to a department spokesperson the archive "comprises 265 folders of mainly newspaper cuttings relating to most of those individuals who died as a result of the conflict".
"The folders are accompanied by a MS Word document listing those individuals who feature within each folder and a Word document listing the names and dates of deaths of the individuals. There are also eight boxes of newspaper cuttings relating to loyalist paramilitary violence, 1966-1994," the spokesperson said. However, the archive material will only be available to people at the public records office, and will not be made accessible online.
The archive is currently being sorted and catalogued. The archive will be made available to the public and researchers onsite at PRONI," the spokesperson said.
Hopes the Executive would buy the publishing rights to the book were dashed this week when First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill confirmed they had no intention of doing so.
Responding to a question from Alliance MLA Andrew Muir they said "we currently have no plans to purchase the rights to the book" which has become increasingly hard to obtain.
The Irish Government has also expressed an interest in buying the rights to the book.
Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles was first published in 1999 and then reprinted in 2008. Publisher Mainstream Publishing of Edinburgh closed and another that showed interest concluded a new version of the mammoth million-word hardback would not be feasible.
The Wave Trauma Centre, a victims and survivors support organisation, said it would be a "great shame" if the book was lost for future generations.
Former Belfast Telegraph political correspondent Chris Thornton said he and his fellow authors, the Independent's David McKittrick, the late BBC journalist Seamus Kelters, historian and columnist Brian Feeney and author David McVea did not want to see the work reprinted and were against government intervention.