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Amplifying Change Project

About the Project


‘Amplifying change: A history of the Atlantic Philanthropies on the island of Ireland’ (hereafter ‘Amplifying Change’) was a project funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, that was carried out by the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) in collaboration with the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) at Cornell University Library, New York. The project commenced in August 2017 and was officially launched at a celebratory online event on 10 September 2021. The aim of the collaboration was to build and disseminate a vibrant, sustainable, and openly accessible digital archive and online exhibition of the impact of the Atlantic Philanthropies grantees on the island of Ireland, consisting of select business records and new oral histories that reflect Atlantic’s grantmaking philosophy, approach, and impact in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Digital Preservation Awards

Shortly after the project launched in September 2020, 'Amplifying Change' was announced as one of three finalists for the prestigious Digital Preservation Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy, alongside the long-established UK Web Archive and the League of Nations. This Award celebrates initiatives for their practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects. The international panel of expert judges for the Digital Preservation Awards heralded the archive as a 'significant collaboration' demonstrating 'a lot of innovation as well as modelling and exemplifying best practice'. For the judges, 'Atlantic Philanthropies is a watershed project, not just for the fully mature digital preservation tools and services which were deployed but for the fully mature digital preservation tools and services which are deployed. It shows that digital preservation is a viable proposition: and conversely, that data loss is a choice'. 

The winners of the Digital Preservation Awards were announced on World Digital Preservation Day on 5th November 2020 as part of The Digital Preservation Awards 2020, an online world-wide celebration of significant and state-of-the-art contributions to securing our digital legacy. The Amplifying Change project team was honoured to be recognised as part of this celebration of excellence in the field of digital preservation.


Where can I access the collections?

DRI’s Atlantic Philanthropies collection has been developed using a thematic approach. The main themes include human rights, education, and communities. Sub-themes include LGBTQ people, migrants, disability, reconciliation, infrastructure, knowledge and learning, knowledge application, senior citizens, children and youth, and citizen participation. The thematic digital exhibitions for this archival project can be accessed at the following dedicated exhibition platform: 

The objects in this collection can also be accessed in the DRI repository: 

Amplifying Change Project Team Based at DRI

Anja Mahler

Anja Mahler was the digital archivist for the Atlantic Philanthropies Archive Project at DRI from Feb 2018 to Dec 2020. Anja was responsible for developing guidelines, collection structures, ingest schedules, and metadata policies for the project, as well as for the hands-on creation of metadata and ingestion of digital objects into the DRI and the digital exhibition platform.

Image Caption: Atlantic Philanthropies Digital Archivist Anja Mahler transferring oral histories, pictured in a polaroid 

Bláithín Ní Chatháin

Bláithín Ní Chatháin was the historical researcher and oral historian for the Atlantic Philanthropies Archive Project at DRI from June 2019 to October 2020. Bláithín was responsible for contextualising the Atlantic Philanthropies grant documentation by collecting oral histories from people across the island of Ireland who have been involved in Atlantic-funded projects.

Image Caption: DRI Oral Historian Bláithín Ní Chatháin preparing her interview with the community development worker at Dolphin's Barn, Dublin

Caroline McGee

Caroline McGee was the project lead for the Atlantic Philanthropies Archive Project at DRI from Aug 2017 to Dec 2018. Caroline was responsible for leading the project and working to highlight the transformative legacy of the Atlantic Philanthropies in Ireland across the social and cultural spectrum.

Image caption: Caroline McGee, pictured far right, at a meeting between DRI and RMC at Cornell University, New York