Category Archives: archiving

A Decade of Centenaries • Century

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.

Century Ireland is published on a fortnightly basis, beginning in May 2013, and is the main online portal for the Irish decade of commemorations, 1912-23.

News reporting on life in Ireland 100 years ago is supported by a wealth of visual, archival and contextual material to facilitate an understanding of the complexities of Irish life in the year between 1912 and 1923.

Century Ireland is produced by a team of researchers at Boston College Ireland and the project is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Century Ireland is hosted by RTÉ and the site is complimented by their broadcast schedule and material from the RTÉ archives.

At the core of Century Ireland is a collaborative partnership between the major cultural and educational institutions in Ireland. By working so fruitfully together, the various partners are making a range of rarely (or never) seen material available that will bring the events of a century ago to life. Century Ireland was awarded an Eircom Spider award for best Irish Arts, Culture & Heritage website in 2013 and shortlisted for a prestigious Prix Europa, one of the biggest international prizes for public service television, radio and online production.


The Prisons Memory Archive (PMA) is a collection of 175 filmed walk-and-talk recordings with those who had a connection with Armagh Gaol and the Maze and Long Kesh Prison during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland

The recordings were made in 2006 and 2007. The range of participants includes prison staff, prisoners, relatives, teachers, chaplains, lawyers, doctors, probation officers and maintenance workers.

The recordings capture how everyday life was impacted by the conflict and builds a rich tapestry of the story of the prisons, just one of the many stories from the conflict

Currently, 23% of the material is accessible, online and in several films, and we are working to make the remainder available.

The work of the Prisons Memory Archive is under-pinned by an ethical framework of life- storytelling, co-ownership and inclusivity.

Database • Ireland Illustrated 1680-1860 • Moore Institute, NUIG

Ireland Illustrated, 1680-1860, is a database of over 500 images of Ireland, with accompanying text, drawn from more than 50 manuscript and printed works, and highlighting several neglected or rarely accessible sources. It provides an opportunity to examine how, in the case of Ireland, diverse representations were created in the course of two centuries.

This collection takes as a starting point the fact that the combination of word and picture in illustrated travel books has shaped how the world is seen, from the early days of printing to the era of the photograph, with the rise of the predecessors of the National Geographic, and continuing into the digital deluge of today. An important part of the visual record of Ireland can be found in illustrations made by or for travellers. Ireland Illustrated draws attention to what they express and how they fit with the written record. What images are chosen, what scenes are worth noting, the colour and emphasis given to an account or a picture, these are important choices when representing a people and their country. They often say as much about the traveller as about realities on the ground.

The presentation of these illustrated accounts encourages further exploration of general trends in the ways that people, including the Irish, thought about and imagined Ireland, and the esthetic or ideological forces at work behind the scenes. At the same time, it allows us to see and appreciate the individual viewpoints of those writers or artists who avoided the obvious comment and the sterotypical scene. The links between people, places, images and text sheds new light on interactions between individual authors, artists and publishers, and, through the examination of Ireland’s case, it foregrounds some of the processes by which travel accounts became illustrated.

We are a collaborative international project based at the Moore Institute of the National University of Ireland, Galway.

I.S. Complex • Carriglea Industrial School

I.S. Complex is an interactive, immersive and experiential visualisation. It attempts to uncover the hidden history of the material structure of the Dun Laoghaire IADT campus in its former function as the Carriglea Industrial School, which operated in Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, for 60 years from 1894-1954

Explore Carriglea

I.S. Complex is an interactive, immersive and experiential visualisation. It attempts to uncover the hidden history of the material structure of the Dun Laoghaire IADT campus in its former function as the Carriglea Industrial School, which operated in Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, for 60 years from 1894-1954.

Background to Carriglea

Initially conceived by the Christian Brothers as a south Dublin counterpart to the much larger Artane complex, Carriglea was, by all accounts, a highly chaotic and dilapidated place, suffering from chronic overcrowding, lack of maintenance and under-investment. In the 1930s the school experienced a catastrophic collapse in leadership, which precipitated the imposition of a brutal disciplinarian regime throughout much of the 1940s; some harrowing accounts of which are detailed in the Ryan Report.

In 1954 the Christian Brothers closed the Industrial School and dispersed the population to other Industrial Schools across Ireland. Using extensive savings generated in the neglect of maintenance of the school, they conducted extensive refurbishments and reopened as a Christian Brothers training school, which operated for a further decade before closing.


Much of the existing structures in IADT’s Quadrangle date from this period. There are no plans or photographs from the previous period as an Industrial School. As a consequence, much of the virtual tour of I.S. Complex is speculative and seeks to evoke the experience of this institutional landscape rather than be a historically accurate account. I.S. Complex is the work of John Buckley. The emotional experience of the work is heightened with an interactive score by sound artist Sharon Phelan.


Industrial Memories: Data and Digiscapes: Digital Reflections on Ireland’s Institutional Past

Understanding a Cultural Memory of Abuse through Data Analytics and Digital Arts

PI: Dr Emilie Pine, School of English, Drama and Film, UCD
Co-PI: Professor Mark Keane, INSIGHT/School of Computer Science, UCD

Project Fellow: Dr Susan Leavy

Industrial Memories is a two-year project analysing the findings of the 2009 Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (the Ryan Report), funded by the Irish Research Council under New Horizons 2015. The project has two main strands, data analytics and digital arts. The Ryan Report is publicly accessible:



Beyond 2022 – Reconstructing the past

Thar 2022 Amach: Maoinchiste Annála Shamalta na hÉireann
Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury

On 30 June 1922, at the outset of the Irish Civil War, a cataclysmic explosion and fire destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland at the Four Courts, Dublin. Flames and heat consumed seven centuries of Ireland’s recorded history, stored in a magnificent six-storey Victorian repository known as the Record Treasury.

On the centenary of the 1922 blaze, Beyond 2022 will unveil Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury​—a digital reconstruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland building and its collections.

Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury​ will serve both as essential platform for academic research and a public resource with global reach and impact.