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Dublin in the Archives: Digital collections exploring the city and county

Friday, September 17, 2021
Zoom Webinar

Event time: 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins


Digital archives are bursting with collections relating to Dublin’s past and present. They trace the boundaries and geography of the city and the social, cultural, and business life of Dubliners through its centuries of habitation. This interactive webinar, hosted by the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) as part of the Culture Night 2021 programme of events, brings together the content creators of these exceptional collections as well as the historians, geographers, and curators of digitised records to showcase what Dublin city and county material is available online and in digital format. The event will show how these digital collections can be used together to give us a multi-dimensional view of Dublin’s past and present.  

Join us on Friday 17 Sept for a lively discussion of archival collections containing rich material ranging from ‘ghost signs’ that illustrate the hidden history of Dublin’s commercial past, historical collections on key events in our shared history like the 1916 Rising, community-based films that showcase the contemporary social history of the city, photographs that provide insight into the fascinating heritage of communities like the Dublin Port docklands, and much more. 

The event will be chaired by Deputy City Librarian at Dublin City Library and Archive (DCLA), Brendan Teeling. DCLA holds a remarkable range of digital collections within the DRI that both document and illuminate the history of Dublin over the last eight centuries, and we are delighted to be collaborating with them on this event.

Contributors include:

  • Brendan Teeling, Deputy City Librarian at Dublin City Library and Archive: Brendan started his career as a librarian with Dublin City Council, before moving to An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council) in 2002, where he worked as Assistant Director. Returning to Dublin City Council as Deputy City Librarian in 2012, Brendan has overall responsibility for, among other things, the City Archives, the Dublin & Irish Collections, and digitisation projects. He founded and directs the Dublin Festival of History; set up the innovative historians-in-residence programme, and leads the Council’s Decade of Commemorations and Commemorative naming programme. Brendan has a lifelong interest in history and has an MA in Local Studies from Maynooth University.
  • Emma Clarke, Founder of Dublin Ghost Signs: Emma is the founder of Dublin Ghost Signs, an online collection of Dublin’s old and fading signs which have stood the test of time. Emma has been documenting old signs and tracking Dublin’s changing streetscapes for almost as long as she has been living in Dublin. She is one of the winners of the 2021 DRI Community Archive Scheme. 
  • Karen De Lacey, County Archivist at Fingal County Council: Karen is the County Archivist for Fingal County Council with responsibility for the records of local government in County Dublin from 1775 to the present day. A Dubliner herself, she previously worked at the Royal Irish Academy and a variety of public and private archives.
  • Joe Lee, Independent Film and Video Maker: Since the early 2000s, Joe has been making a series of community-based films set in Dublin neighbourhoods that present a unique insight into the recent social history of the city from the 1980s onwards. Joe is one of the winners of the DRI Community Archive Scheme 2021 and his collection of eight community-based films has been preserved for long-term access in the Repository. 
  • Dr James Louis Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Cork: James is Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Ports, Past and Present project at University College Cork. His work is focused on water history, digital storytelling and mapping. His first book was on water in medieval intellectual culture, and his recent postdoctoral work focused on the pilgrim site of Lough Derg in Ireland’s County Donegal. Dr Smith will discuss the community engagement activities of the Ports, Past and Present project in the Dublin Port area, its efforts to build up and archive community port stories and heritage, the groups of stakeholders that it works with to do so, and future archiving possibilities beyond the scope and lifecycle of the project that he hopes to encourage and enable.

This event is aimed at researchers, historians, archivists, librarians, cultural heritage enthusiasts, and anybody interested in learning more about the digital record of Dublin’s social, cultural, and historical memory. 


Image Credit: Fáilte Ireland. Interior of a Dublin Pub -  ‘The Long Hall', Digital Repository of Ireland [Distributor], Dublin City Library and Archive [Depositing Institution], 

This event will be recorded. Audience members will not be visible in the recording.

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