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Minister Sherlock acknowledges Ireland’s Digital Archiving strengths

Submitted on 26th October 2012

Minister Sherlock and members of the DRI team

Press release from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. 26.10.2012  'Digital Repository of Ireland is a champion of digital innovation…'

Press release from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.  original link

Minister Sherlock acknowledges Ireland's Digital Archiving strengths


‘Digital Repository of Ireland is a champion of digital innovation in Ireland with a multitude of applicable uses for societal and economic development internationally’ – Sherlock


Minister Sherlock and members of the DRI team

From L-R: Natalie Harrower; Minister Sean Sherlock, TD; Sandra Collins and Mairéad Heffron holding the report co-authored by Aileen O'Carroll and Sharon Webb of The National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Photo Credit: Johnny Bambury


Speaking at the the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) conference event “Realising the Opportunities in Digital Humanities” Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, highlighted the importance of Digital Humanities in “Boosting Ireland’s image and reputation through the global exposure of Ireland’s culture and heritage through digital means”.

The three day Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) conference which concludes today (Thursday) was attended by over 200 national and international attendees.

Minister Sherlock stated that “The area of Data Repositories preservation, and access, is an important part of harnessing Ireland’s human capital – and a great way to link the past with the present and the future.” The Minister emphasised to those present, which included a sizeable international contingent including EU representatives, that “Research and innovation is a cornerstone of Ireland’s overall economic development and that the Humanities and Social Sciences are very much a part of our research and innovation agenda.”

The DRI is an online digital resource and a national digital infrastructure. Digitised cultural material is an important resource for European cultural and creative industries. European Cultural Heritage is the world’s most diverse and richest, and is of significant economic importance to industries such as tourism, heritage conservation, education and music amongst many other areas.

Minister Sherlock added “I was extremely impressed by the diverse and exciting range of presentations on show here today in Croke Park, and how each in their own way are contributing significantly to the further development of Ireland.”

During his address Minister Sherlock also launched the DRI’s national report entitled ‘Digital Archiving in Ireland – National Survey of the Humanities and Social Sciences’, commenting that “the Digital Repository of Ireland is now coming into its own as a champion of digital innovation in Ireland.”


Aileen O'Carroll, Sharon Webb, Sandra Collins

Authors Aileen O'Carroll and Sharon Webb from NUIM hold their report with DRI Director Sandra Collins. Photo Credit: Johnny Bambury


The DRI event is central to one of Ireland’s national research priority areas in Digital Platforms, Content & Applications. Research prioritisation is a core element of the Irish Government’s jobs agenda.

Speaking at the event the Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland, Dr. Sandra Collins said “The DRI is building a vast interactive national digital repository for contemporary and historical, social and cultural data held by numerous Irish institutions. The aim is to link together and preserve this data by providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools for use by the public, students and scholars. “

Dr. Collins added “A core aspect of the work of the DRI is that we are building richer, deeper stories which are constructed through accessing multiple complementary collections of content in a single location. And it is terrific to be able to say that through various supports from Government and other partners that Ireland is truly amongst the leaders globally in Digital Humanities.”

The conference is being held to showcase Ireland’s strengths in digitisation with the support of the Royal Irish Academy, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) which is a Science Foundation Ireland funded CSET; the Digital Humanities Observatory and the EU funded Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH).

A truly diverse range of speakers and participants are involved which include the National Library of Ireland, Microsoft Research (USA), Google (USA), National archives of Ireland, the BBC, RTE, IBM (Ireland), The Higher Education Authority, Oxford University, The National Library of the Netherlands, RTE Radio na Gaeltachta, Kings College London, the Digital Preservation Coalition UK and the Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Germany.

The DRI is part-funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through an award totalling €5.2m over four years under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, which is administered by the Higher Education Authority.


For more information :

Dr Natalie Harrower, Manager, Education & Outreach, Digital Repository of Ireland
Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

tel: +353 (0) 609 0960,

DJEI Press Office – Tel +353 (0) 6312200

DRI is funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) via the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

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