December 2008

Speech by Martin Cullen, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism on the launch of the Irish Society for Archives publication: Irish Archives, Winter 2008 in Dublin City Library and Archives on 2 December 2008

The speech was delivered by Dr Kenneth Milne in the abence of the Minister who was unavoidably detained.

"All members if the Irish Society for Archives, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here in Dublin City Library and Archives this evening, and I am grateful to Dr Raymond Refaussé, Chairman of the Irish Society for Archives, for extending an invitation to me to launch the 2008 edition of Irish Archives which celebrates Irish medical history. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the many medical professionals in particular that have taken the time to join us here for this occasion.

In the past it had been noted by academics that no proper forum existed for the discussion of archival matters in Ireland. This situation was rectified in December 1970, with the establishement of the Irish Society for Archives. The Society held its inaugural meeting in the Physics Theatre, UCD, Earlsfort Terrace and those present as many of you here will know, elected Professor Robert Dudley Edawurds as its first chair. The society commenced publishing the Irish Archives Bulletin in 1971. This publication later grew into Irish Archives in 1989, which remains Ireland's only dedicated archives journal.

The Irish Society for Arhcives exists to enable archivists, and archive users, to come togehter and discuss matters of mutual concern and interest. It promotes the importnat place of archives in Irish Society. It publishes Irish Archives annually, a twice-annual newsletter every September and March, and organises lectures on topices of interest and concern to archivists, the users of archives and the wider public. It is important to remember that any document on which records are kept, or evidence can be found, can be considered archival. Archives are not the dry words of times past, but are the record of our history.

The Winter 2008 edition of the Irish Archives, launched here tonight, deals largely with medical records. The articles highlight the broad spectrum of archival material available to historians of medical history in Irish archives and librarires. As the Minister for Arts, I was intriqued to note that one article is entitled "Medical and Health related films held by the Irish Film Archive", written by Kasandra O'Connell.

Time and time again, historians of medicine have informed us that medical science has grown in prestige through the advance of medical knowledge arising  out of bacteriological and laboratory discoveries in the late nineteenth century. These advances were never undisputed and even to day there remain some doubting Thomas's. Many of you will know of George Santayana's quote in The Life of Reason--"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" and the medical archives provide the means for medical practitioners to recall medicine's historic past.

The twentieth century has seen further growth in prestige for medical science accompanied by greater interest in holistic and counter-medicine/

Nevertheless, the authority of modern medicine is not only represented by scientists, however, but also by medical practitioners, and by professional physicians, and their story is to be found in the Irish medical records.

This latest edition of Irish Archives will inform as to the medical records available to reseachers and to those with a passing interest in this subject. It will further promote the place of archives in our society. I wish to contratulate and to extend my thanks to all the contributors to this edition of Irish Archives--especially to Mary O'Doherty of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and to Robert Mills of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.

Before I finish, I think it is appropriate to say that I note and respect the views of the socieyt of the proposed merger of the National Archives and the Irish Manuscripts Commission, into the National Library of Ireland. This proposal comes about from the examination by my Department of the administrative coses and structures of thses bodies against the backdrop of the 2009 estimates. In the case of the National Archives of IReland, the legislation underpinning that institution has been undergoing analysis for some time. This analysis has been undertaken with a view to updating both the functions of the National Archives and indeed the magaement structures surrounding the Archives. I am also obliged to ensure that our national cultural institutions function through, and are supported by, administrative and other structures that are efficeinet and effective. My purpose is to make thses bodies stronger, not weaker, through amalgamation. My aim is to place the National Archives at the heart of our heritage and cultural infrastructure.

Finally, I wish to congratulate the Irish Society for Archives on the publication of the Winter 2008 edition of Irish Archives, and for providing an appropriate forum in which professional archivists and archive users may discuss matters of mutual concern. I also wish to thank Dublin City Library and Archives for providing this magnificent venue for this launch.

It gives me great pleasure now, ladies and gentelment, to oficially launch the Winter 2008 edition of Irish Archives.

Thank you."

Letters and comment in the Irish Times re proposed merger of the National Archives, the National Library and the Irish Manuscripts Commission
* It's all smoke, mirrors and how you spin it
Sat, Oct 18, 2008
* Letter from DONNCHADH Ó CORRÁIN, Professor Emeritus, University College Cork
Monday, October 20, 2008
* Letter from KYLE J. BETIT, Editor, The Irish at Home Abroad, Salt Lake City,  Utah, USA
Saturday, October 25, 2008
* Letter from Dr RAYMOND REFAUSSÉ, Chairman, Irish Society for Archives, RCB Library, Braemor Park, Dublin 14
24 October 2008
* Letter from LEAH BENSON, Chairperson, The Society of Archivists, Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
Monday, October 27, 2008
* A State hell-bent on wiping its collective memory
Sat, Nov 01, 2008
* Letter from DESMOND K. CLARKE, Honorary Secretary, Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations, St Brigid's Grove, Dublin 5
27 November 2008
Letter from ISA to the Irish Times re proposed merger of the National Archives, the National Library and the Irish Manuscripts Commission
24 October 2008

Madam, - The Irish Society for Archives is glad to support Prof Donnchadh Ó Corráin's objections to the proposed merger of the National Library, the National Archives and the Irish Manuscripts Commission (October 20th). Such a merger could achieve no significant economies since all three bodies are already under-resourced - especially the National Archives, which has been so seriously neglected that it is barely able to discharge its statutory responsibilities.

Moreover, the functions of the National Library and the National Archives are fundamentally different and the failure of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, which is charged with responsibility for these institutions, to understand this is profoundly worrying.

The national archives are not financial assets but form part of the cultural infrastructure of this country. They do not belong to the civil service or to the government of the day, but to the people of Ireland and by extension to the Irish diaspora worldwide. It is our responsibility to transmit these national treasures intact to the next generation.

In good times, this means investment in buildings, staff and public service; in bad times, it means consolidating such gains as have been effected and preserving a public service. As a nation, we have already destroyed the national archives once, resulting in the acute cultural impoverishment of our own people and of the many visitors who come to Ireland in search of their identity.

Every single day an Irish archivist has to utter the dreadful words: "I'm sorry, these records were blown up when the Public Record Office of Ireland was destroyed during the Civil War in 1922." The National Archives Act 1986 was designed to save the collections which remained, and it is instructive to note that it was passed, and a new building provided, at the height of the last recession.

We urge careful reconsideration of the proposals to merge these institutions in the pursuit of an illusory short-term gain. We urge the adoption of a longer-term perspective which recognises the unique place of the National Archives in the cultural life of the nation. - Yours, etc,

Irish Society for Archives
RCB Library
Braemor Park
Dublin 14

Minister Cullen – consolidating investment in arts, tourism and sports sectors for 2009

From press release dated 14/10/2008:

'Current funding for the National Cultural Institutions is higher than the 2007 levels. Cuts in the day-to-day allocations on 2008 are marginal and a full programme of events and exhibitions is scheduled for 2009.

The Minister said that all of the cultural institutions would find 2009 challenging. However he said that the, “reductions applied had to be put in perspective against the funding gains made by these institutions over the last decade.”

The Minister said that it was intended that the National Library of Ireland, the National Archives and the Manuscripts Commission would be amalgamated, as would the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Crawford Gallery. Culture Ireland would continue to operate as it had done for its three years in existence, as a division of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, with its own Board of Directors. The Minister is confident that the fusion of these organisations will lead to “economies of scale and costs and an enhancement of what they have on offer for the tourist, user and student.” The Minister said that legislation will be brought forward to effect these amalgamations and the governance, management, employment and administrative arrangements to realise them would be put in place as soon as it is feasible.'

2009 Budget statement re proposed merger of the National Archives, the National Library and the Irish Manuscripts Commission


Rationalisation of State Agencies

26. Merge the National Archives and the Irish Manuscripts Commission into the National Library.


Irish Society for Archives, Newsletter Spring/Autumn 2008
Call for articles

Due to a vacancy in the position of editor the Spring 2008 edition of the Irish Society for Archives newsletter was not issued. However the position of editor has now been filled by Ellen Murphy. 

We would now like to issue a call for articles for the Autumn edition. We would welcome articles relating to exhibitions, conferences, current research, developments in archive services, lectures, publications etc and other matters of concern to those interested in Irish archives. Items for inclusion in the Autumn Newsletter should be sent to:

Ellen Murphy, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 or by email.

The deadline for receipt of articles is the 18th August 2008.


Important Map Purchsed by St Patrick’s Cathedral

At a recent auction of books, maps and manuscripts in Bonhams sale rooms in London, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, was successful in securing an important manuscript map of part of the lands of the vicars choral of St Patrick’s in the eighteenth century. The records of the vicars choral have not survived and so this is an unexpected find.

Very Revd Dr Robert MacCarthy, Dean, St Patrick's Cathedral (left) and Dr Raymond Refausse, Librarian and Archivist, RCB Library (right)

The map, which is dated 23 October 1714, is a survey of a lot of ground, roughly in the vicinity of the present Harold’s Cross park. It includes drawings of  Mrs Carr’s Mill and the Way Mills of Harold’s Cross. It is the work of the eminent Dublin surveyor, Gabriel Stokes, and it is believed to be his earliest signed map. Writing in Plantation acres. An historical study of the Irish land surveyor and his maps, Professor John Andrews, the doyen of Irish cartographic historians, had dated Stokes’ earliest signed map to 1716.

Gabriel Stokes was born in 1682 and attended the King’s Hospital after which he was apprenticed to Joseph Moland who became Dublin City Surveyor in 1706. He drew maps for both the Dublin cathedrals, Trinity College, and the Erasmus Smith schools and was Deputy Surveyor General of Ireland, 1748-52.

This new find will join the other archives of St Patrick’s Cathedral which are in the Representative Church Body Library, Dublin.

Database of Church of Ireland stained glass launched

Gloine, the database of stained glass in the  Church of Ireland created by Dr David Lawrence, was launched by Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe in a special event hosted at the Irish Architectural Archive in   Dublin  on 28 April 2008.

The database, which has been praised for the wonderful quality of the images as well as for the extensive scholarship and research on which it is based, is one of the outputs of the first project in the world to survey the stained glass heritage of a religious organisation.

The survey, which has been funded by the Heritage Council and the Representative Church Body,  covers 1357 windows in 291 churches in six dioceses, with 2650 detailed pictures of the windows the mselves and 422 photographs of the buildings. Six dioceses are yet to be surveyed.


Michael Webb (left), Chairman of  the Irish Architectural Archive & Chairman of the RCB Library & Archives Committee and Dr David Lawrence (right).

The database may be searched by the name of an architect, by studio or artist name, by location, date, religious iconography, by architectural description and even by size, shape and architectural location of the windows.  

The database already represents the most extensive survey of Irish stained glass, and those interested in the history of the subject will find a great deal to interest them in the identification of Irish studios, designers and artists that were previously poorly documented or little known. 

Dr Lawrence is a giant in this field, internationally recognised for his expertise in  the history of stained glass, and this survey has vastly extended our knowledge of the heritage of which we are custodians. In addition, he is an acknowledged expert in the conservation and restoration of old glass, and his reports, which have been produced on a diocese by diocese basis are full of useful advice on this subject.
UCD Mícheál Ó Céirigh Institute Annual Lectures and Book Launch
15 May 2008, 6.30pm
Theatre O, John Henry Newman Building, UCD

In August 1987, Professor Craig Harline, Brigham Young University and Dr Eddy Put discovered the sole surviving volume of the day book of Matthias Hovius, Archbishop of Mechelen/Malines (1596-1620) in a Belgian archive.  In 2000, they published together 'A Bishop's Tale'--an extraordinarily intimate reconstruction of life in 17th century Flanders at the time of the foundation of St Anthony’s College, Louvain (Leuven) in 1607.

On Thursday 15 May 2008 at 6.30pm in Theatre O, John Henry Newman Building, Belfield, Professor Craig Harline will give a lecture entitled 'Conversions'.

One of the most basic and understudied consequences of the Reformation was the impact of religious conversions upon families. What were the possible responses when a family member decided to leave the religion of parent, spouse, or siblings? The unusually well-documented story of one such confessionally mixed family offers an opportunity to explore this question both in depth and breadth, and to ponder its continued manifestations today-- in matters of religion or otherwise.

Following Professor Harline's lecture all are welcome to the launch of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, his associates and St Anthony’s College Louvain edited by Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle NUI Galway (published by Four Courts Press)


Launch of The vestry records of the united parishes of Finglas, St Margaret’s, Artane and the Ward, 1657-1758

The third volume in the Representative Church Body Library’s Texts and Calendars series was officially launched on Saturday 5 April in St Canice’s parish church, Finglas where the Rector of Finglas, Santry and Glasnevin, the Revd David Oxley, presided. The principal speaker at the launch was the Dublin City Archivist, Dr Mary Clark.

The vestry records of the united parishes of Finglas, St Margaret’s, Artane and the Ward,

 1657-1758, edited by Dr Maighréad Ní Mhurchada, an acknowledged expert on the history of Fingal, is an edition of the vestry minute book of the Church of Ireland parish of Finglas with an introduction, appendices and index. The volume contains, as well as the minutes of the vestry, the accounts of the churchwardens, lists of the parish cess, and records of baptisms, marriages and burials for the years 1658-84.

Dr Raymond Refaussé (series editor) and Revd David Oxley, Rector of Finglas, Santry and Glasnevin

Dr Mary Clark launching The vestry records of the united parishes of Finglas, St Margaret’s, Artane and the Ward, 1657-1758
This book will be of interest to those concerned with the church, local communities and rural life in the early modern period and, in particular, to those who are interested in the local history of north County Dublin. It has been published by Four Courts Press at €55 and is available through bookshops, as are the two earlier volumes in the series, The vestry records of the parish of St John the Evangelist, Dublin, 1595-1658 and The vestry records of the parishes of St Catherine and St James, Dublin, 1657-1692 both of which were edited by Professor Raymond Gillespie, NUI Maynooth.

Major Networking Opportunity for Records Management Professionals in Ireland
9 May 2008

The Records Management Society cordially invites all Records, Information and Archive professionals interested in those issues affecting the profession in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the fifth meeting of the ‘RMS Ireland’ regional group in Clifton House, Belfast, 9 May 2008.

The theme of this meeting is ‘Record Management: Rising to the Challenges’, in recognition of the increasing number of legislative and technological challenges which records management practitioners have to tackle in an every increasing regulatory environment.  Failure to address these challenges properly constitutes a significant risk, and practitioners from a variety of sectors will share their experiences and knowledge of putting in place effective systems and procedures to improve compliance and governance.

RMS Ireland wishes to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of this meeting provided by Tribal Groupplc and McConnell Archive Storage, a subsidiary of the Oasis Group.

The programme for the meeting is set out below.  If you would like to attend please contact Claire Graham.


09.30 – 10.00              Registration & Coffee

10.00 – 10.15              Welcome and Introductions

                                    Robert Corbett, Chair, RMS Ireland, and Records Manager, Belfast City Council

10.15 – 11.00              Think DP before you click the send button: Recent developments affecting the processing of personal data

Catherine Vint, Information Commissioner’s Office, Belfast

11.00 – 11.30              Tea/Coffee and Networking Opportunity

                                    Claire Graham, Southern Health & Social Care Trust, and Training Officer, RMS Ireland, will chair the pre-lunch session

11.30 – 12.00              Taming your email monster: Email Management and Corporate Governance

Alison North, The Genuine Group

12.00 – 12.30             More than just a storage company: What a specialist

                                    management company can do for you

Stewart Porter, McConnell Archive Storage, a subsidiary of the Oasis Group

12.30– 12.45               Discussion Session

12.45 – 14.00              Lunch and Networking Opportunity

                                    Dorothy Quinn, UPS, and Membership Officer, RMS Ireland will chair the afternoon session

14.00 – 14.30              Preserving and Protecting your Information Assets

                                    Paul Duller, Tribal Education and Technology Limited

14.30 – 15.00              The Trials of a long-serving Information Manager

                                    John Morgan, Department of Finance and Personnel

15.00                           Discussion session

15.30                            Closing Remarks

Please note that attendance is limited to 70 attendees.  Preference will, therefore, be given to members of the Records Management Society.  Details about joining the Society and its activities are available here.

In the interests of the environment, all presentations will be available after the meeting on the RMS Ireland Group website only.

Edmund Burke Display at Trinity College Library

To commemorate the 260th anniversary of the graduation from Trinity College Dublin of the prolific author, politician and orator Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Trinity College Library is staging an exhibition focussing on Burke’s student life and political development.

This exhibition includes items never before exhibited. Of particular note is the dagger that Burke hurled onto the floor of the House of Commons during a dramatic debate in December 1792. Burke had been on his way to the House to discuss the repercussions of the French Revolution, when Sir James Bland Burges, under-secretary at the Foreign Office, called him aside to show him a dagger that had been sent to a Birmingham knife manufacturer as a template for a suspiciously large order. This confirmed Burke’s fear that England was itself teetering on the brink of revolution, with conspirators poised to take up arms against the State. Trinity College Library acquired this dagger, with the generous assistance of the Friends of the Library, in 2007 and it is displayed alongside a contemporary caricature by the engraver James Gilray depicting Burke’s dramatic gesture.

Also included in the exhibition is the record book of the debating club set up by Burke and his friends whilst students at Trinity in 1747. This club later became the Historical Society (popularly known as the ‘the Hist’). It still flourishes and is celebrated as the oldest student society in the world.

The exhibition is staged in the Long Room, Trinity College Library, and will run from 15 April 2008 to 13 July 2008.

An online version of this exhibition can be accessed here.

Proceedings of the 2007 ICA-SUV annual conference

The proceedings of the annual conference, held in Dundee in August 2007, are available online.

TAPE publishes report on audiovisual research collections and their preservation

The TAPE project has issued a publication on audiovisual research collections by Dietrich Schüller of the Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of  Sciences.

n the 20th century, thousands of recordings were made during academic field work, and numerous interviews and documentaries were produced in research projects. Some of this material is now held by archives, but often it is kept in academic departments ?or even by individual researchers ? as little known ?hidden collections?: minimally documented, haphazardly stored under suboptimal conditions, and at serious risk of being lost altogether. These materials reflect cultural and linguistic diversity, especially as much of what they document has by now disappeared. They are primary sources for oral history studies, and provide insight into the concerns and methodology of researchers at the time. Therefore they should be kept accessible for future research projects.

The report looks at collections of this type and discusses the particular requirements for access and re-use, focusing on the potential of digitization for creating distributed content-based archives.

It is available as a PDF file.

The TAPE project, Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe, is supported by the Culture 2000-programme of the EU.

Council on Library and Information Resources:
White Paper Examines Issues of Preserving Collections Created by Mass Digitization

The digitization of millions of books under programs such as Google Book Search and Microsoft Live Search Books is greatly expanding our ability to search and find information. While much attention has focused on the unprecedented access these projects afford, less has focused on the future of the digital content created through such initiatives. Who will ensure that it is fit for use and accessible over time, and what steps should be taken now to improve the usability of these resources into the future?

A new report by Oya Y. Rieger, Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization: A White Paper, examines large-scale digitization initiatives (LSDIs) to identify issues that will influence the availability and usability, over time, of the digital books these projects create. 

The paper describes four large-scale projects--Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project--and their digitization strategies. It then discusses a range of issues affecting the stewardship of the digital collections they create: selection, quality in content creation, technical infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure. The paper also attempts to foresee the likely impacts of large-scale digitization on book collections. The author offers a series of recommendations for how participating libraries and digitizing partners can secure, or improve, a long-term return on the LSDI investment.

The study and publication were funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization: A White Paper is available electronically. Print copies will soon be available for ordering through CLIR's Web site, for $20 per copy plus shipping and handling.

The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the management of information for research, teaching, and learning. CLIR works to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good.

Archive Fervour / Archive Further Literature, Archives, and Literary Archives
9-11 July 2008
Aberystwyth University (UK)

The field of literary studies has shown a marked interested in the term "archive" in recent years, with a number of conferences, monographs, and special issues in the area. This fascination is often one-sided, with many archivists being reluctant to engage in the debate. There are many potential reasons for this reluctance, not least of which is the way in which literary studies has appropriated (and sometimes even misunderstood) the role and function of archives. Archive Fervour / Archive Further is a major interdisciplinary conference intended to re-invigorate this debate, offering archivists and literary scholars a forum in which to discuss the ways in which both fields intersect and to explore the ways in which mutual co-operation can benefit their future development. The conference brings together practising archivists willing to exhibit and/or discuss their collections and methods, archival theorists, literary and historical researchers, and literary theorists. This interdisciplinary engagement will be promoted by a number of keynote speakers:

Professor Terry Cook (University of Manitoba) teaches archival studies, following a long career at the then-National Archives of Canada. He also consults internationally, and has written extensively on archival appraisal, the history of archives, and the postmodern archive.

Jeff Cowton (The Wordsworth Trust) is Curator of the prestigious Wordsworth Trust collections, which received Designated status in 1997 as a result of its numerous papers on Wordsworth and his contemporaries.

Professor Carolyn Steedman (University of Warwick) teaches History and is the author of works such as Dust, Past Tenses, and Master and Servant. She is currently an ESRC Research Professor completing a project on domestic service and modernity, and has research interests in the construction of self-identity.

Professor Julian Wolfreys (Loughborough University) teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, and literary theory. He is the author of the Writing London series and numerous books on Derrida, and is interested in spectrality, memory, and psychoanalysis.

The issues and topics to be explored at the conference include:

  • Understanding Archives / the "Archive"
  • Exemplary Literary Archives & Processes
  • Interpretative Practices across the Disciplines
  • Crossing Disciplinary Borders
  • Telling Stories about or with Archives

Further Information & Booking Your Place

If you require more information on the conference, please contact the conference organisers. For those interested in attending, but who will not be supported either by an institution or an organisation, or who are postgraduate students, the organisers are trying to arrange for a series of bursaries to be made available. If you wish to attend and feel that this applies to you, please let us know. A draft programme will be available "here" when it has been finalised.

A booking form for the conference is available here. Please return this via mail to Aberystwyth University Conference Office.

TAPE workshop on the curation and preservation of audiovisual collections

12- 16 May 2008

University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Online registration now open.



This five-day workshop will provide an intensive grounding in the theory and practice of audiovisual archiving, enabling curators to develop strategies to safeguard their collections.  The training will be led by a range of expert film, video and audio curators from across Europe.  They will address issues such as the handling and storage of analogue originals, digitisation and restoration, managing digital assets and enabling access and reuse.

The workshop will begin with an overview of curation challenges, addressing factors such as carrier composition, life expectancy and obsolescence.  The emphasis though will be placed on practice, using case studies and workshops to enable delegates to develop solutions for their specific context.  By the end of the workshop delegates will be able to identify which of their collections are at most risk of loss, so work can be prioritised, and will be able to recommend policy changes to improve the management and dissemination of collections.



The workshop will be run by Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow, as a continuation of the training programme established by the EC funded Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe (TAPE) project, which was co-ordinated by European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) and ran between 2004 and 2008.

Course directors: Sarah Jones, HATII & Richard Wright, BBC Archives 


Delegate information

The workshop is aimed at curators responsible for audiovisual collections.  As this is an introductory course it is suited to curators without specialist audiovisual training.  No specific technical expertise is required.  The workshop will be conducted in English so delegates are expected to have a working knowledge of the English language to be able to participate.

Course fee: GBP 400

Fee includes a course pack, refreshments, lunches and a conference dinner.

Registration closes on 21 March 2008. Places are limited so register now to avoid disappointment.

Please register online.

Further information:

Contact Sarah Jones
++44 (0)141 330 3549


11 University Gardens

University of Glasgow

Glasgow, G12 8QJ


'The Philosophy of the Archive' Conference
April 10-11 2008
Edinburgh, Scotland

Download conference programme and registration form here.

The Centre for Archive and Information Studies, School of Humanities, University of Dundee, is holding an interdisciplinary conference, 'The Philosophy of the Archive' to be held in Edinburgh on 10-11April 2008. This conference is part of a project, 'Investigating the Archive: an interdisciplinary enquiry into the concept and role of archives', funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Keynote speakers include Verne Harris, Head of Memory for Justice Programme, Nelson Mandela Foundation, South Africa and Professor Terry Cook, University of Manitoba, Canada and Dr Elizabeth Shepherd, University College, London.

It is intended that the proceedings of the conference will be published. Funding to support attendance at the conference is not available.

This conference will be relevant to theorists, archivists, philosophers, historians, literary historical critics and other discipline specific scholars, with the aim of encouraging debate and developing a critical understanding of these issues. In particular, we see this seminar as breaking down barriers between academic disciplines and challenging the insularity that sometimes characterises those working with archives.

During the conference an interdisciplinary PhD programme on Memory, funded by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies in partnership with the departments of history and philosophy, at the University of Dundee will be launched. The inaugural studentship will be advertised shortly.

The RSE-funded 'Investigating the Archive' project consists of three conferences and two workshops. The first conference, 'A Triangular Traffic', held on November 2/3 2007 addressed the subject of literature, slavery and the archive. The third conference which will be held in Summer 2008, will be on the subject of Visual Culture and the Archive of Migration. The workshops will serve to sustain the interrogative and self-reflexive methodological questioning initiated during the main events. In this manner, it is hoped that scholars with different methodological outlooks on the archive - and archival research - can work together in a productive dialogue or tension.

For further information please contact Jennifer Johnstone.

International Conference: One more step towards the European Digital Library
31 January & 1 February 2008
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The objectives of the conference and the preliminary programme can be found here.

The Conference aims to highlight and discuss The European Library's role in building the European digital library and to discuss strategic, technical and semantic interoperability between the four cultural heritage domains: museums, archives, audio-visual archives and libraries.

The Conference will be opened by Horst Forster, the director of Content in the Information Society and Media Directorate General of the European Commission, and the key note speaker Herbert van de Sompel from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The results and findings of the EDLproject will be presented in the first session. The focus of the project has been to integrate the bibliographic catalogues and digital collections of the national libraries of Belgium, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain and Sweden into The European Library. EDLproject is a Targeted Project funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus Programme and coordinated by the German National Library.

The Conference will continue with a session on the EDL Foundation, its aims, its workplan and how interested associations and organisations may join.

Further sessions of the Conference will be dedicated to the creation of the European Digital Library, and the focus will be on interoperability - technical, inter-sectoral and semantic. This part of the Conference is closely interlinked with the EDLnet programme which has set out to create a European community of cultural heritage sectors, and produce a first prototype of the European Digital Library. First results and findings of the EDLnet working groups will be presented and demonstrated, inviting discussion and feedback from the audience.

Participation is free of charge. Online registration is now here.

return to index