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Winner of DRI Early Career Research Award 2020 Announced

Submitted on 15th October 2020

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DRI is pleased to announce the winner of the DRI Early Career Research Award 2020!

DRI is pleased to announce that Dr Siobhán Doyle is the winner of the DRI Early Career Research Award 2020.

Dr Doyle recently completed a PhD in Museum Studies at Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) in the School of Creative Arts at Technological University Dublin and received the Dean of the College of Arts and Tourism scholarship award in March 2016. Dr Doyle's doctoral research concerns the material and visual culture of modern Ireland with particular focus upon the role of exhibition display in commemoration and representations of death. Her research has been published by Four Courts Press, Arms & Armour, European Remembrance and Solidarity Network and the Imperial War Museum, History Ireland and Éire/Ireland (forthcoming).

The DRI Early Career Research Award 2020 grants a prize to an original piece of research informed in whole, or in part, by objects/collections deposited in DRI. Dr Doyle's winning submission, 'Historical Narratives on Display: The Bullet in the Brick, National Museum of Ireland' draws on 'The Inspiring Ireland Project' visual collections in the repository. Her research examines how representations of heroic death and martyrdom emerge in exhibitions commemorating the 1916 Rising at the National Museum of Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin) and the Ulster Museum (Belfast) in 2016. Her award-winning submission has been preserved for long-term access in the repository here:

DRI is grateful to Dr Annaleigh Margey, Lecturer in History at Dundalk Institute of Technology, for sitting on the judging panel for this award and for sharing her expert assessment of the applications. Dr Margey offers her congratulations to Dr Doyle and praises her research's use of visual collections to contribute to the understanding of the period: 

Congratulations to Dr Doyle on her award. This was an excellent example of research using visual materials to support an innovative exploration of our surviving material culture of the 1916 Rising. Dr Doyle clearly utilised the resources of the Digital Repository of Ireland to bring together materials from multiple collections and to analyse them to enhance our understanding of a seminal event during the Rising.

DRI Director Dr Natalie Harrower comments:

DRI is very pleased to make this award to Dr Doyle for her inspiring work with visual sources, and would like to thank all applicants to the DRI Early Career Researcher Award. We plan to continue running this competition annually, so start thinking now about what you might submit in 2021, and contact us if you have queries about our collections. I would also like to thank Dr Annaleigh Margey for again volunteering to be on our panel of judges: her insights are excellent and we appreciate her careful dedication to all received entries.

Commenting on the importance of the DRI collections to her research, Dr Doyle states that:

DRI content was used throughout this research when conducting careful visual analysis of artefacts on display in the museum. The high-quality digital images available online allowed for convenient reference to visual artefacts from my desktop, which in turn saved several trips to the museum to check the visual configuration of said artefacts. In particular, the images of the bullet in the brick ( could be easily shared with colleagues overseas in Royal Armouries in Leeds. Collaboration with experts in Royal Armouries has created deeper knowledge of the artefact, which has resulted in conference papers, publication and participation by both parties in a one day workshop on the subject of curating conflict at TU Dublin, Grangegorman.

To learn more about Dr Doyle's experiences using the visual collections in the DRI repository in her research, we invite you to read her blog 'Negotiating the Challenges of Working with Visual Material: Archives, Cultural Institutions and Digital Collections'.

During the present circumstances, when access to collections in physical museums is restricted due to COVID-19, DRI is pleased to be able to support researchers like Dr Doyle by preserving and providing access to digital collections and research resources. We encourage you to browse our collections in the repository

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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