About the DRI

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.

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



The Digital Repository of Ireland is a trusted national infrastructure for the preservation, curation and dissemination of Ireland’s humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage data.



The Digital Repository of Ireland is a national service for the long-term digital preservation of Ireland’s humanities, social science, and cultural heritage resources.
DRI is a trusted digital repository (TDR), providing online access to a wealth of digital resources across multiple domains for students, scholars and the public.
DRI actively engages in the development of policy, and is an internationally recognised leader in digital archiving and repository infrastructure. 


Organisational Structure

The principal governance structure of the DRI is the Management Board. The DRI Management Board is comprised of one Institutional representative from each of the academic partners in the DRI research consortium.

The principal management mechanism of the DRI is the Core Implementation Team (CIT). The CIT is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the DRI in addition to developing the DRI strategy, coordination, and delivering the project. The CIT is comprised of the DRI Director (Chair), DRI Principal Investigators and Institutional representatives, with the DRI Programme Manager in RIA providing the secretariat.


Operational Structure

Implementation Areas 


The technical team is responsible for developing and maintaining the overall software architecture for the repository. The DRI is an online distributed repository with a modern software design pattern that supports the isolation of the software logic, data architecture and user interfaces, thereby allowing simultaneous parallel development of the system components. These include a suite of configurable, bilingual (Irish/English), multi-modal, multi-access, customisable and accessible user interfaces.

The data is stored in an intelligent, federated and distributed storage service coupled with storage service software to enable access to the infrastructure through the data management layer. This fundamental storage layer holds all data objects and associated metadata and is a secure, scalable, resilient, storage infrastructure capable of supporting multiple independent, preservable data layer implementations.


The main remit for DRI Policy is to develop robust policies and guidelines conforming with international best practice concerning protocols for data generation and preparation for archiving, documentation, preservation, copyright, intellectual property, privacy, ethics, consent, anonymisation, access, re-use rights, sharing rights and termination of agreements.

Education and Outreach

DRI is engaged in a number of education and outreach initiatives, including a Training Programme designed to train stakeholders in working with the repository, as well as direct engagement with the public in the form of events, newsletters and online communications.


1. Requirements

Before launching DRI, an extensive requirements analysis was conducted.necessary. The process was the result of an extensive consultation process consulting with relevant stakeholders, with the international academic advisory board, and amongst between partner institutions to ensure that the design and implementation of the DRI architecture and underpinning policy and guidelines were grounded in concrete, demonstrable authentic user requirements. Areas of importance included digital curation practices, evaluation and adoption of metadata standards with respect to Irish/English language metadata standards and common file media formats

The results of this process was the development of requirements analysis, policies and guidelines. The current required specifications of the DRI can be found at this link. It describes the technical, structural and business requirements that have been designed and implemented since the start of the project. These policies and guidelines are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

2. Business Models

The Business Model Taskforce is developing a sustainable business model based on national and international best practice which will enable DRI to fulfill its mandate as a Trusted Digital Repository  for social science and humanities data, now and into the future.

3. Metadata

The Metadata Task Force oversees and steers the successful implementation of metadata deliverables. The Task Force’s role is to help manage and resolve a range of metadata-specific issues that DRI will need to address during the lifecycle of the project. The Metadata Task Force advises on the policy and technical issues pertaining to the ingestion of data into DRI and is responsible for our series of Metadata Guidelines publications, and for ensuring the operability of internationally recognised metadata standards in the Repository.

4. TDR

DRI’s Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) Taskforce is responsible for ensuring that the Repository is compliant with the requirements for being a Trusted Digital Repository. This includes the complies with the requirements of the Data Seal of Approval, which DRI was granted in 2015, as well as other certification frameworks such as TRAC and ISO 16363 which the DRI aims to achieve in the future..

5. Workflows

DRI’s Workflows Taskforce is responsible for defining the user interfaces and workflows necessary to interact with the system in order to ingest material into the Repository, or to access that material.monitoring and developing the technical processes of ingestion of material into the Repository.

6. Business Records

The Business Records taskforce develops and implements good record-keeping practices within DRI, with reference to records management best practices and legal obligations.

7. Publications Committee

DRI’s Publications Committee is responsible for coordinating the development of our Publications, including guidelines, reports, factsheets, policy documents and others. The Committee oversees the process by which publications are written, edited, designed and published.


DRI Requirements Specifications

This document details the current required specifications of the DRI, at time of publication. It describes the technical, structural and business requirements that have been designed and implemented since the start of the project. It can be accessed at this link.


DRI Code of Ethics

DRI published a Code of Ethics in August 2015, it can accessed at this link.



The Digital Repository of Ireland launched on 24 June 2015. It was 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), National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM), (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and National College of Art and Design (NCAD). Core academic institutions continue to manage the repository and implement its policies, guidelines and training.

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 awarded €5.2M 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.