‘DRI Decade of Centenaries Digital Preservation Award’ Winners Announced at DPASSH Conference

Dr Eucharia Meehan announced three awards at a major international conference on digital preservation in Croke Park.

Three awards were presented to archival collections which contribute significantly to the national dialogue on the Decade of Centenaries. Sponsored by the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations scheme, the award provided winners with the services of professional digital archivists and librarians to prepare their collections for long-term digital preservation in the Digital Repository of Ireland. The DRI team was delighted to welcome Director of the Irish Research Council, Dr. Eucharia Meehan to present these awards to the Dublin City Archives, the Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives, and the National Irish Visual Arts Library at NCAD. 

The Digital Preservation for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DPASSH, http://dpassh.dri.ie) conference, like the DRI, is concerned with the challenge of preserving our digital cultural, social and historical record in a manner that safeguards their access now and in the future.  The conference theme, “Shaping our Legacy: Safeguarding the Social and Cultural Record”, makes reference to the destruction of the Irish Public Records Office during the Irish Civil War in 1922 and is used as an analogy to highlight the vulnerability and fragility of our digital cultural record. The ‘DRI Decade of Centenaries Digital Preservation Awards’ aims to highlight the same issue. They particularly focus on the digital commemorations of the Centenaries, which are at risk of loss by the 2115 Decade of Bi-Centenaries if action is not taken.

The award winning collections include material from the Dublin City Electoral Lists for the period 1915; correspondence and papers of Irish Capuchin priests, detailing their involvement with participants in the national struggle during 1916; and pages from the diary of stained glass artist Michael Healy from Easter Week 1916. These collections are now available at repository.dri.ie.

Dr Meehan congratulated the award winners on this recognition of their important contributions to the social and cultural record of the Decade of Centenaries. Dr Meehan also commended the DRI, and in particular Dr Sharon Webb and Rebecca Grant, for this successful initiative which highlights the important issue of digital preservation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

About the Digital Repository of Ireland

The Digital Repository of Ireland is a national trusted digital repository for Ireland's social and cultural data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools. As a national e-infrastructure for the future of education and research in the humanities and social sciences, DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars.

The Digital Repository of Ireland is built by a research consortium of six academic partners working together to deliver the repository, policies, guidelines and training. These research consortium partners are: Royal Irish Academy (RIA, lead institute), Maynooth University (MU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and National College of Art and Design (NCAD). DRI is also supported by a network of academic, cultural, social, and industry partners, including the National Library of Ireland (NLI), the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) and RTÉ. Originally funded from the Higher Education Authority PRTLI Cycle 5 for the period of 2011-2015, DRI has also received awards from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, The European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Ireland Funds, and Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. DRI’s partner project, Inspiring Ireland (www.inspiring-ireland.ie) won three eGovernment awards in 2015.

We at the Digital Repository of Ireland believe our national mandate is best achieved through partnership, so continue to build relationships and collaborations with national and international centres of excellence in digital preservation, and with the owners and custodians of cultural and social content.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sharon Webb at s.webb@ria.ie 

Image (from left to right): Aisling Conroy (NCAD), Donna Romano (NCAD), Rebecca Grant (DRI), Ellen Murphy (DCA), Dr. Sandra Collins (DRI), Dr. Brian Kirby (Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives, Dr. Eucharia Meehan (IRC), Dr. Sharon Webb (DRI/DAH).