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These lectures aim to serve as an introduction to the theory of chiral algebras, suitable for those more familiar with vertex algebras. In the first lecture I will describe the construction of vector bundles with connection (D-modules) over algebraic curves, starting from the input of a conformal vertex algebra, arriving eventually at the notion of a chiral algebra. Formally chiral algebras are defined as Lie algebras within certain categories of D-modules, but all necessary theory of D-modules will be introduced in the talk.