About Us

AskAboutIreland and the Cultural Heritage Project

AskAboutIreland.ie and the Cultural Heritage Project is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies' collections to create a national Internet resource for culture.

The participating organisations have selected material of particular public interest from their holdings within a variety of common topics ranging from sport, transport and architecture to flora and fauna and Irish writers. The material is then digitised (scanned, digitally photographed, recorded etc.) and set in a narrative context.

AskAboutIreland.ie is a constantly growing resource with content being added to the website on an ongoing basis. While there is lots of material on this site of interest to all, this is just a sample of what is available in public libraries throughout the country. If you would like to find out more, please contact the local studies librarian in your area from the list available in the Contact Us section of the site.

AskAboutIreland.ie is managed by Libraries Development, LGMA, supported by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government with funding from the Information Society Fund.

Demonstration video of the Ask about Ireland website:

Binary Ask about Ireland Demonstration Video
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Copyright Notice

Copyright material loaded onto this site is available for the purposes of research and private study or criticism or review within the terms of individual licences for each page on this site. All users must acknowledge that the contents of this website will not be extracted or re-utilised for any competing or commercial purpose without the written consent of Libraries Development, LGMA and the copyright holder.

Libraries Development, LGMA has employed its best efforts to determine whether the works and data contained on this website are currently protected by underlying copyrights. We have concluded either that any such rights have expired under Irish copyright law or that any rightholders are not traceable despite our best efforts to do so. Any person who considers that any materials that are available on this site may infringe his or her copyright in a work, should contact librariesdevelopment@lgma.ie.

Report on Copyright

For the Cultural Heritage Project Phase 2, Professor Robert Clark of University College Dublin and Arthur Cox was engaged as a consultant in investigating the issue of copyright particularly in in the context of historic materials. All participants in the project submitted queries in relation to copyright issues. These were included in a formal briefing document and specification, which was presented to Professor Clark. A version of the resulting report and findings is available for download here.

Doc Copyright Report, Prof. Robert Clark
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Resources for Digitisation

This page contains links to the technical guidelines for digitisation that were created by the team at Libraries Development, LGMA and the participating institutions during the first phase of the Cultural Heritage Project.

Pilot Projects

The first phase of Cultural Heritage Project supported five pilot projects in the digitisation of particular types of media (newspapers, 3D material, maps, etc.). Download the PDF versions of the Final Reports for a step-by-step documentary on each project's progress in the digitisation of the different media.

  1. Waterford City Library Pilot Project Site
  2. Waterford Museum of Treasures Pilot Project Site
  3. Mayo County Library Pilot Project Site
  4. Dublin City Library Pilot Project Site
  5. Cork Archives Pilot Project

Joint UK - Ireland Digitisation Workshop

In May 2008, a workshop was held at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.  The workshop was organised by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (now Libraries Development, LGMA), MLA and the National Museum of Ireland, with funding provided by Minerva EC, the Department of Environmenet, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.

Presentations were given by David Dawson (MLA), Clifford Harkness (National Museum Northern Ireland), Ciaran Mangan (Meath County Library), Beth Porter (South Eastern Education & Library Board), Dr. Paul Ell (Queen's University, Belfast), Joan Ward (An Chomhairle Leabharlanna), Aly Conteh (The British Library) and Frances Boyle (Digital Preservation Coalition).  The workshop report and presentations can be downloaded here.

Pdf Joint UK-Ireland Digitisation Workshop, Tuesday 20th May 2008
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Ppt 'Digital Vision for Europe and EU Member States': David Dawson, Senior Policy Advisor - Digital Futures, MLA
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Ppt 'Digitisation - a Museum perspective': Clifford Harkness, Head of Collections Management, National Museum Northern Ireland
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Ppt 'Digitisation under the Branching Out Library Policy Programme: Meath County Library': Ciaran Mangan, Meath County Librarian
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Ppt 'Establishing Digitisation Programmes': Beth Porter, Chief Librarian, South Eastern Education & Library Board, Northern Ireland
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Ppt 'Towards an electronic library of core research resources on Ireland': Dr. Paul Ell, Director of The Centre for Data, Digitisation and Analysis, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University, Belfast
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Ppt 'Cultural Heritage Digitisation Programme: Challenges & Opportunities': Joan Ward, Executive Librarian, An Chomhairle Leabharlanna - The Library Council
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Ppt 'Digitisation and user access': Aly Conteh, Digitisation Programme Manager, The British Library
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Ppt 'Digital Preservation': Frances Boyle, Director, Digital Preservation Coalition, UK
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