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Interim DRI Director Appointed

Black and white photo of Lisa Griffith

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is delighted to announce the appointment of an interim Director. Dr Lisa Griffith will take up the position of Director on 1 January 2023, taking over from Dr Natalie Harrower. 

Chair of the DRI Board, John McDonough, said: 

On behalf of the Board, I welcome the appointment of Dr Griffith as DRI Director, and look forward to working with her on DRI’s strategic priorities through 2023. Dr Griffith has played a central role in consolidating DRI’s significant growth in the last five years, and is the right person to steer DRI in the coming year.

Dr Griffith said on taking up the appointment:  

I am really delighted to be taking up the position of interim Director. During my time working at DRI I have come to appreciate both the opportunities and the challenges that the digital preservation of culture, heritage, humanities, social science, and research data can bring. I am passionate about connecting organisations and groups with the tools to allow them preserve their digital collections and to help them meet their open research goals. We have an exciting programme scheduled for 2023 and I look forward to bringing all of my experience to supporting that work.

Dr Griffith has worked at DRI for six years, most recently as Membership Manager where she has overseen the growth of DRI’s membership to its current level of 46 members. During her time in this role, she has worked closely with DRI’s members to understand their organisational and sectoral requirements and to help identify how DRI’s training, resources, policy, and technical developments can help them meet their preservation and access goals. Dr Griffith has worked with representatives from higher education institutions (HEIs) and research projects across Ireland’s higher education sector to help them join DRI and access training and digital preservation services. This work gives her a unique understanding of the future role that DRI can play in helping HEIs meet their open research goals. She has also worked closely with DRI’s culture and heritage members to help them access services such as Europeana aggregation. Dr Griffith was responsible for initiating and developing DRI’s Community Archive Scheme since its inception in 2018, and this has enabled DRI to help underserved communities access preservation and open publication services, ensuring the legacy of their archives, and diversifying the offerings in DRI’s collections. The cultivation of these communities of practice is highlighted in DRI’s monthly Virtual Coffee Mornings. She initiated these short sessions to enable member socialising during COVID restrictions in early 2021, but they have since grown to provide regular fora for networking and professional development. 

Dr Griffith’s involvement in delivering DRI’s training and education programme, and her work on DRI’s Requirements taskforce, have given her an excellent understanding of DRI’s technical infrastructure and how users engage with the Repository. She has coordinated two major events in the last year to engage new audiences and preservation communities. Dr Griffith was Deputy Chair for the 2022 ‘Digital Preservation for the Arts Humanities and Social Science’ conference (DPASSH) and the theme was Digital Preservation of Religious Collections: Conversations and Collaborations. She coordinated the Literary Dublin in the Digital Archive event which looked at the growing number of literary collections held in digital repositories and how digital collections could be used for creative writing. In her previous role as Programme Manager, she worked closely with DRI’s Director to plan DRI’s programme of work, to secure funding, and to develop strategic capacities.

Dr Griffith sits on DRI’s  Electronic Records Working Group which is working to draft guidelines for the long-term preservation of electronic business records, a concern that is particularly relevant to Local Authorities. She is a member of the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Advocacy and Engagement (ACE) sub-committee as well as a Coordinator of the Dublin City Research Group. 

Before coming to DRI, Dr Griffith worked in the Higher Education sector and for culture and heritage organisations. At Dublin City University (DCU) she was project manager at the Research, Innovation and Support Office, where she managed a university-wide technical upgrade of critical research support systems. Subsequent to this role, she was responsible for managing the team that administered the student, teaching, and placement programmes at the School of Education, St Patrick’s College (Institute of Education, DCU). Dr Griffith has also worked in the cultural heritage sector where she spent over three years running the Culture and Heritage Programme at the National Print Museum. In this role she managed a team that delivered the training and tour guiding programme at the museum. Dr Griffith has also worked for Culture Night and the International Literature Festival. She holds a PhD in history from Trinity College Dublin, has published two books, edited two collections of academic essays and has written several articles.