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Insight partner the Digital Repository of Ireland launched

Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation launched Insight's partner institution, the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), at a major international conference on digital preservation in Croke Park yesterday.

The DRI is a national trusted digital repository for Ireland's social and cultural data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools. As a national e-infrastructure for the future of education and research in the humanities and social sciences, DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars.

The Repository features beautiful and moving collections, including those from our broad range of demonstrator projects – Letters of 1916, the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Archive, Irish Lifetimes, Kilkenny Design Workshops, Saol agus Saothar Sheáin Mhic Ghiollarnáth, and the Teresa Deevy Archive – as well as the award winning Inspiring Ireland collections, featuring content from Ireland’s National Cultural Institutions, and rich collections of multi-media content from our partners Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) and the Contemporary Music Centre (CMC). The repository can be accessed online here. 

Commenting on the launch, Mr Damien English, TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation said: “Fostering collaboration in the academic sector is central to Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and the launch of the Digital Repository of Ireland is indicative of the powerful outcomes which can be achieved when strategic collaborations, with support from cultural, social and industry partners, are facilitated. Together the partners involved in this project have created a valuable resource which will serve to safeguard Ireland’s rich social and cultural data, benefitting research, education and the public at large.” 

Director Dr. Sandra Collins invites everyone to visit DRI online, “DRI offers exciting historical, cultural and contemporary content that tells the story of Ireland and its people. The content comes from some of the finest institutions across Ireland, and is available without charge for people to view and to enjoy. Some of the collections we care for are restricted by copyright or the sensitive nature of the data, but researchers can request access. We are an open repository, and we want people to explore and enjoy their cultural and social heritage”.

Deputy Director Dr. Natalie Harrower said “DRI has been built from the ground up, following rigorous national requirements analysis, international best practices in data archiving and preservation, and aided by a series of rich collaborations and partnerships with heritage and research institutions across the country. The Repository not only makes available Ireland’s social sciences and humanities data to researchers and the public – it preserves it for future generations. Protecting against data loss helps to protect against the loss of our collective cultural memory.”

The Repository contains tens of thousands of high quality, metadata-rich digital objects, including video clips, photographs, digitised manuscripts, oral histories, sound recordings, digitised paintings and museum objects, books and letters. The Digital Repository of Ireland is the result of nearly four years of research, software development, policy and legal framework design, and data curation by digital archivists and librarians.