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Catherine Ryan

Catherine Ryan

Digital Librarian

Digital Repository of Ireland, Royal Irish Academy

Masters in Information and Library Studies, M.A. European Studies, B.A. European Studies, Digital Futures Academy, British Library, 2012
DRI Role

Digital Librarian

Research Interests
Digitisation, digital preservation and sustainability of digital projects, cataloguing and metadata, ontologies, Linked Data, arts and humanities collections in libraries and archives.


Catherine Ryan is currently the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Digital Librarian, based at the Royal Irish Academy. As the DRI’s Digital Librarian, Catherine is providing guidance on best practice on digital preservation and digital archiving for different media types, working with stakeholders to create an Irish folklore thesaurus, investigating current practice in web archiving and social media archiving, conducting research into appropriate standards, vocabularies, and ontologies. Other duties include preparing metadata for ingest into the DRI and assisting with funding proposals.

She previously worked as the DRI’s Digital Archivist Assistant, a position co-funded by the National Library of Ireland and the DRI, where she worked on two collaborative projects targeting linked data and content discovery for digital archives and libraries: Linked Logainm and MoTIF, a project to create thesaurus construction guidelines and a pilot thesaurus as an illustrative example.

Catherine is a professional librarian with training and experience in archives and a background in the humanities. Previously she worked with digitised and born digital collections in the National Library of Ireland, including the James Joyce manuscripts and web archiving. In 2012 she received a scholarship from the Digital Preservation Coalition to attend the Digital Futures Academy training programme at the British Library in 2012, and presented a paper on the National Library of Ireland’s web archiving programme at the 41st LIBER annual conference in Estonia.

Catherine has a major interest in digital collections, digitised and born digital, with a focus on data and information management best practices, access, dissemination and long-term sustainability. Her Masters thesis focused on metadata in digital preservation.

She was Acting Chair of the Career Development Group of the Library Association of Ireland in 2013.

Selected Publications

 “Linked Data Authority Records for Irish Place Names”, C. Ryan, R. Grant, E. Ó Carragáin, S. Collins, S. Decker and N. Lopes. International Journal on Digital Libraries. Special Issue on Semantic Digital Archives. Springer, 2014.

"Thesaurus construction guidelines: an introduction to thesauri and guidelines on their construction", C. Ryan. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy and National Library of Ireland, 2014.

"Constructing a thesaurus of Irish folklore using facet analysis", C. Ryan, Library Association of Ireland Cataloguing and Metadata Group Seminar 2013: Whatever Happened to Classification?, Dublin, November 2013.