Back to top

Using Digital Archives for Historical Research

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Zoom Webinar

23 Feb 2021, 3:00pm-4:30pm

Access to brick-and-mortar archives has been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, creating challenges for humanities researchers that rely on archival materials for their research. DRI is therefore hosting a three-part public lecture series on 'Using Digital Archives for Academic Research' aimed at early career researchers that will showcase the rich research resources contained in digital archival collections from different Irish cultural heritage institutions. The first webinar in the series will focus on historical research, part two will highlight digital archives for geographical and archaeological research, and the final webinar in the series will be dedicated to social sciences research. Although the series is aimed primarily at early career researchers, the events are open to the public and all are welcome. 

The first webinar in the series, 'Using Digital Archives for Historical Research', takes place on 23 Feb at 3:00pm. 

The event will take place over Zoom Webinar but it is not necessary to have a Zoom account to join. The event will be recorded but audience members will not be visible in the recording.

UPDATE ON REGISTRATION: This webinar is now at capacity. If you would like to be added to a waiting list for tickets in case of cancellations, please email with your name and contact details. 

The event will be livestreamed to the DRI Facebook Page, so we encourage people to follow along here:


Featured digital collections will include:

  • Beyond 2022: This archival initiative aims to restore – as far as possible – the collections lost in the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922, at the outbreak of the Irish Civil War. Bringing together copies of lost originals, held in archives and libraries around the world, Beyond 2022 is creating Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury.
  • The Inspiring Ireland Project - National Museum of Ireland: This collection contains a selection of cultural heritage objects from the National Museum of Ireland presented as part of the Inspiring Ireland project, which presents a series of exhibitions containing cultural artefacts related to the events of 1916.
  • Bureau of Military History (1913-1921): The Bureau of Military History Collection, 1913-1921 (BMH) is a collection of 1,773 witness statements; 334 sets of contemporary documents; 42 sets of photograph, and 13 voice recordings that were collected by the State between 1947 and 1957, in order to gather primary source material for the revolutionary period in Ireland from 1913 to 1921.
  • Dublin City Library and Archive (DCLA), Fáilte Ireland Tourism Photographic Collection and Jacob's Biscuit Factory Archive: These collections, spanning from the 1890s to the early 2000s, comprise almost 20,00 images between them and growing.

Registered attendees will also receive a booklet with a list of additional digital research resources.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Ciarán Wallace, Deputy Director (Public Engagement Lead) at Beyond 2022: Ireland's Virtual Record Treasury: Ciarán completed his PhD on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century municipal politics in Dublin at Trinity College Dublin (2010), where he subsequently held an IRC Post-doctoral Fellowship. He was a co-designer of Trinity’s inaugural Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) ‘Irish Lives in War and Rebellion: 1912-1923’. Having lectured at Trinity, Dublin City University, and Liverpool John Moore’s University, he joined Beyond 2022 in its initial scoping phase.
  • Dr Siobhán Doyle, Inventory Assistant at the National Museum of Ireland: Siobhán is an Inventory Assistant in the National Museum of Ireland and a Tutor at Technological University Dublin. She was awarded the Dean of the College of Arts & Tourism Award in 2016 and completed a PhD with the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media in May 2020. Siobhán’s doctoral research focused on how death is represented in museum exhibitions commemorating the 1916 Rising. Her other research interests include sport history, memory studies, and dark tourism. Siobhán was awarded the DRI Early Career Research Award in 2020 for her research using 'The Inspiring Ireland Project' visual collections in the repository.
  • Tara Doyle, Senior Librarian, Dublin and Irish Collections at DCLA and Stephanie Rousseau, Archivist at DCLA: Tara Doyle is the senior librarian for the Dublin and Irish Collections at DCLA. She be speaking about the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Photographic Collection. The Bórd Fáilte photographs were all taken by professional photographers and the collection covers all counties in the Republic of Ireland, with a concentration on topics relating to tourism. Stephanie Rousseau is an archivist at DCLA. She will be speaking about the Jacob's Biscuit Factory Archive. The images in this collection reflect the company's history as a major employer in Dublin city and cover everything from factory processes and machinery, advertising material, and staff lives. The collection represents a rich and significant contribution to the study of business and commercial life in Dublin in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

DRI operates in compliance with GDPR. Please see our Privacy Statement for more information about our use of your data.

Image Credit: Fáilte Ireland. Donkey, County Donegal, Digital Repository of Ireland [Distributor], Dublin City Library and Archive [Depositing Institution],