News and Updates

The UCD Digital Library is constantly working on new collections, updating workflows, and engaging with our user communities. Check back here for all updates on our activities.


Date:5th April 2022
M. Michael Corcoran's Photograph Albums Launch

The latest Digital Library collection, M. Michael Corcoran’s Photographic Albums, was launched at a research showcase and seminar entitled “Archives of Women Religious in Ireland: the Present and the Future”. The in-person and online hybrid event featured presentations on the significance of women religious archives from the perspectives of both archivists and research scholars. A recurring theme was the importance of digitising these archives to facilitate wider access and how crucial collaborative projects between religious archives and research institutes like UCD are.

Our own Audrey Drohan gave a presentation on the Mother Michael Corcoran digitisation project and launched the collection by showing a video produced by Brian Kelly. We have received lovely feedback on the event including this from some of the Sisters who joined via Zoom:

"The little video was superb. The whole presentation from beginning to end was a feast…. a wonderful celebration of these great women and a lovely tribute to the collaboration of religious sisters and UCD research."

Nuns with an elephant

The M. Michael Corcoran collection is part of the UCD Convent Collections, a research initiative led by Professor Deirdre Raftery, and builds on a previous collaboration with the IBVM (Loreto) Institute & Irish Province Archives, the Loreto 1916 collection.

The new collection contains photographs taken by Mother Michael Corcoran IBVM (1846-1927), Superior General of the Loreto Sisters. A bit of an early adopter of new technology, M. Michael saw the potential of photography for educational purposes. She used her camera to capture the daily life of religious sisters, pupils, and Loreto communities in Ireland and across the world. The photographs date mainly from 1902 to 1908 and include photographs of her travels to Loreto communities in India and Australia, as well as images of Rathfarnham and Balbriggan. Some of her photographs were turned into glass slides which could be projected in classrooms using a magic lantern, allowing Loreto pupils to see images of India and Australia - countries they could never hope to visit themselves.

The collection includes 6 glass of these lantern slides and the launch video includes a lovely demo of these slides being projected through an original magic lantern. The video is available to view now on Vimeo.

Irregular News : Civil War and Republican Ephemera

Released:2nd November 2021
Irregular News : Civil War and Republican Ephemera

UCD Digital Library and UCD Special Collections are delighted to present the collection Irregular News: Civil War and Republican Ephemera.

This collection contains a rich store of primary source material relating to the revolutionary period.

This material was collected by the Irish Franciscans and was originally held in their friary on Merchants Quay, which is located across from the Four Courts. It was transferred to the Franciscan House of Studies in Killiney and from there to UCD in 2017 as part of the UCD OFM partnership agreement.

The collection consists of six bound volumes of Irish newspapers and ephemera, covering the period 1916 to 1940. The majority of the material is from the Civil War period, 1922-23. These four volumes include long runs of the anti-treaty publication Poblacht na h-Eireann: War News, Poblacht na hEireann Scottish Edition as well as issues of The Fenian, The Daily Sheet and the Daily Bulletin.

In addition to these newspapers, there are a large number of ephemeral leaflets and short pamphlets produced by the anti-treaty forces during the Civil War. This ephemeral material includes information on the circumstances and attitudes of imprisoned anti-treaty forces. Many of these propaganda sheets are satirical in nature.

This primary source material gives detailed accounts of daily activities of the irregulars during the Civil War and also shows the reaction of the anti-treaty propaganda machine to the deaths of major figures in the conflict, such as Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and Harry Boland.

Irish Poetry Reading Collection

Released:11th September 2020
Irish Poetry Reading Collection

UCD Digital Library and UCD Special Collections are delighted to announce that Volume 4 of the Irish Poetry Reading Collection has been published and integrated into the main collection.

The Irish Poetry Reading Collection, which forms part of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, is a central repository for readings by Irish poets, in both the English and the Irish language. This collection aims to capture and preserve the rich and diverse landscape of poetry in Ireland, and includes the voices of: established poets; emerging poets; performance poets; avant-garde poets; English and Irish language poets; and Irish diaspora poets. Many of the readings are accompanied by handwritten or typed presentation copies of the poem, created by the poet especially for the reading.

Sculptures in University College Dublin

Released:4th March 2020
Sculptures in University College Dublin

UCD Digital Library is proud to announce that the Sculptures in University College Dublin collection has been re-worked and expanded to include the wonderful new sculptures that have been installed at UCD.

This collection documents sculptures that comprise part of the University College Dublin art collection. Many of these sculptures have featured in the UCD Sculpture Trail, which comprises public works of art that are an integral part of the urban fabric of the university, enriching the sense of place and the physical beauty of the natural environment. Varying in style and material, the collection is representative of national and internationally renowned artists including John Burke, Jason Ellis, Thomas Glendon, James Hogan, Kevin O'Dwyer, Bob Quinn and Giorgio Zennaro.

Minor Harbours of Ireland

Released:20th January 2020
Minor Harbours of Ireland

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present this wonderful collection from Prof. Beth Shotten, with visualisations by Peter Clarke.

Minor Harbours of Ireland, an Irish Research Council-funded project by UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, examines the evolution of maritime engineering in small harbours in Ireland from the seventeenth century to the present. This collection records the construction and evolution of a selection of these minor harbours and includes short historical descriptions, onsite LiDAR scans, photographic site surveys, and exhibition posters for each harbour.

Up-coming collections

Updated: September 2021

We currently have a lot of collections at various stages in our workflow. The following is a flavour of what will be coming on-line in the near future.

  • Carysfort College Registers
  • Richmond Hospital Medical Illustrations
  • Letters from the Curran Collection (Special Collections)
  • Irregular News: Civil War Ephemera (Special Collections)
  • Additional poets in the Irish Poetry Reading Collection (UCD Library, Special Collections)
  • A collection of Douglas Hyde material (National Folklore Collection)
  • Additional photographs in the Georgian Dublin collections (UCD Art History & Cultural policy)
  • NFC Scrapbooks (National Folklore Collection)
  • Zozimus (National Folklore Collection)
  • The Lepracaun (National Folklore Collection)
  • Papers of Eithne Coyle O'Donnell (UCD Archives)


National Folklore Collection Journals

Work is currently underway to digitise and catalogue a selection of 'mosquito press' political journals. The journals are held in the National Folklore Collection library in UCD.

The journals that have been scanned to date include:

  • The Lepracaun (1905–1914)
  • Pat (1879–1883) (Online)
  • Zozimus (1870–1872)
  • The Shan Van Vocht (1896–1899) (Online)
  • Comhthrom Féinne

The Beckett Country Collection

Released:November 2019
The Beckett Country Collection

UCD Digital Library would like to announce that The Beckett Country Collection has been re-worked and is now available as two complete volumes.

This collection, originally published as part of the Irish Virtual Library and Archive (IVRLA) in 2008, comprises of two publications: (1) 'The Beckett Country: Samuel Beckett's Ireland', by Eoin O'Brien, written to celebrate Samuel Beckett's eightieth birthday in 1986. (2) The catalogue to 'The Beckett Country' exhibition, first held in The Library, University of Reading, in May 1986.

Workhouse Drawings Collection

Released: 4th July 2019
Workhouse Drawings Collection

UCD Digital Library, in collaboration with the Irish Architectural Archive, are honoured to announce that the Workhouse Drawings Collection is now available online.

The workhouse buildings, originally built between 1839 and 1847 to provide relief for the poor, have a controversial and tragic history that reverberates to this day. Designed in a Tudor domestic idiom, with picturesque gabled entrance buildings, 130 workhouses had been completed by 1847, overseen by architect George Wilkinson as part of what was considered the first phase of construction. A second phase of construction was undertaken during the Famine, with fever hospitals added to existing workhouses from circa 1847 onwards. Between 1849 and 1853 a further thirty workhouses were built, though these were plainer buildings with a different layout.

The Irish Architectural Archive is the custodian of the surviving architectural drawings for these buildings, and this online collection is a representative sample of these drawings and plans, along with the Fifth Annual Report of the Poor Law Commissioners, and other ancillary documents. The online collection contains drawings and documents relating to the Mallow, Castleblayney, Lismore, and Gorey workhouses. The full Workhouse Collection, in the Irish Architectural Archive, includes the remaining drawings for eighty-one workhouses, all located in the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland.

A blog post, written by the UCD Digital Library metadata librarian, Órna Roche, can be found in the UCD Library Cultural Heritage Collections blog.

Further information about the collection and its re-use can be obtained from the Irish Architectural Archive.

Diaries of John and Arthur Oram

Released: 25th June 2019
Diaries of John and Arthur Oram

UCD Digital Library and UCD Archives are delighted to announce that an intriguing historic collection, Diaries of John and Arthur Oram, is now available online.

The collection comprises of two sets of diaries written by John and Arthur Oram, father and son, farmers and land agents in Burrishoole, County Mayo. The diaries cover the periods 1854–1907 and 1887–1919 and record the day to day management of estates, including herd management, crop management, and maintenance of the land. The influence of the weather on their lives is also evident, with both men recording daily weather observations and noting the impact of meteorological events such as droughts, wind storms, and major snow falls. Scattered among the accounts of everyday life are references to events of national and international importance: a famine in 1879; the foundation of the Land League in 1879; the 1882 Phoenix Park murders; the death of Queen Victoria in 1901; the sinking of the Titanic in 1912; news of a Rising in Dublin on 25 April 1916; and the 1918 influenza epidemic.

Relevant to those with an interest in agriculture, landed estates, meteorology, as well as the general history of Ireland at the time, the diaries are also fascinating as a record of the intricacies of human life. The most poignant and personal moments are recorded, including John's entry for the death of his beloved wife in April 1906 and, in April 1907, Arthur's record of John's own passing.

The diaries were deposited in UCD Archives by Carolyn Sturdy and Christopher Oram in June 2012.

Postcards of the First World War

Released: 10th October 2017
Postcards of the First World War

UCD Digital Library and the National Folklore Collection are pleased to present a collection of postcards depicting images from World War I.

This unique little collection contains 18 postcards with descriptive titles in French and/or Irish, while the text on the reverse of each postcard is in Irish.

The dates of publication for the postcards are unknown, although generally a publication date of after the start of the war in 1914 has been inferred, with some of the postcards featuring images which are dated 1917.

The postcards were among papers discovered in a building on North Great George's Street, Dublin, which had been taken over by the Civil Service Staff Officers Association during the 1960s, and were donated to the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin in 2016.

While not a large collection, these postcards are significant in their depiction of images from many battle sites of the Western Front, including Marne, Verdun, Alsace, and along the River Aisne, and of American soldiers in World War I.

G. & T. Crampton Photograph Archive

Released: 19th June 2017
G. & T. Crampton Photograph Archive

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present a significant collection of photographs from the albums of G. & T. Crampton Ltd., one of Dublin's best-known construction companies.

G. & T. Crampton Ltd. was founded by George J. Crampton in 1879. The present name dates to 1905, reflecting the founder's partnership with his nephew Tom Crampton. For most of its history, G. & T. Crampton Ltd. was based in Ballsbridge, where it was responsible for numerous buildings including the former fire station, library, US Embassy, former Jury's hotel and many office blocks. It earned an excellent reputation for quality, with its joinery works being particularly celebrated, and was also known as a 'good' employer.

While its activities have spanned all sectors, including commercial, industrial, residential, education and hospitality, G. & T. Crampton Ltd. is perhaps most associated in the public mind with its private housing developments. The term 'Crampton-built' is frequently employed by estate agents to signify the high quality of its dwellings at Herbert Park, Booterstown and Clonskeagh. Throughout the twentieth century, the company was also heavily involved in building public housing schemes for Dublin Corporation. Although long-associated with Dublin, G. & T. Crampton Ltd. has undertaken work throughout Ireland and overseas, ranging from new builds to extensions, expansions and refurbishments.

At the heart of Dublin's development for over a century, G. & T. Crampton Ltd. has been responsible for many iconic buildings, including the UCD building at Earlsfort Terrace (now the National Concert Hall), the St. Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, and the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

This collection contains 667 photographs, taken between 1892 and 1988, which represent a visual record of the building projects the firm undertook. The digital versions of the photographs were given to UCD Digital Library by Assoc. Prof. Joseph Brady, UCD School of Geography, with the permission of G. & T. Crampton Ltd.

1916 and Me / 2016 and Us

Released: 11th April 2017
1916 and Me / 2016 and Us

The events that occurred during 1916 can have many different meanings for people. By asking, ‘what does 1916 mean to you?’, this exciting new collection explores the political, social, and cultural legacies of the year 1916 for people and communities across the island of Ireland, north and south.

‘1916 and Me / 2016 and Us’ consists of 43 interviews, recorded in Dublin and Belfast throughout 2016, with individuals (academics, community leaders, politicians, artists, writers and members of the public) giving their views on the significance of the events of 100 years ago and also on the meaning of commemoration.

Those interviewed include Heather Humphreys (Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs), Colin McCusker (Councillor, Ulster Unionist Party), David Norris (Independent Senator), John Concannon (Director, Ireland 2016), David Ford (MLA Alliance Party, and former Northern Ireland Minister of Justice), Catriona Crowe (National Archives of Ireland), and Professor Mary Daly (UCD historian, and President, Royal Irish Academy).

‘1916 and Me / 2016 and Us’ is a collaboration between University College Dublin School of History, Queen’s University Belfast School of History and Anthropology, UCD Digital Library and, UCD’s public history website. The project was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund and produced by Real Smart Media for History Hub.


Released: 23rd January 2017

UCD Digital Library, and UCD Special Collections, are delighted to present the first of a series of UCD student publications from the early 20th century.

Hermes (1907-08) was a literary journal for the staff and students of University College, Dublin, succeeding the more well-known journal, St. Stephen's (1901-1906 - available online shortly).

The first issue of Hermes stated that the periodical "would not seek to be a semi-political organ of the student body, but would publish essays, poems, and reviews ... written either by the professors and students of the University or by their friends". One such student, Thomas Bodkin, Irish lawyer and art historian, went on to become the director of the National Gallery of Ireland (1927-1935). The magazine also welcomed contributions from all the colleges of the Royal University, including the then Queen's Colleges in Belfast, Cork, and Galway.

UCD Special Collections hold four issues of the journal, which have been digitised and are now freely available online. Full text searching within the journal will be available soon.

UCD News

Released: 7th December 2018
St. Stephen’s

UCD Digital Library, UCD Library and UCD Archives UCD Digital Library, UCD Library, and UCD Archives, are delighted to present UCD News, an internal, informal publication for the staff and students of University College Dublin, published between 1970 and 2003.

Did you know…

…the first on-campus accommodation opened in 1989?

…the Library’s catalogue became available online in 1992?

…the swans on the lakes in Belfield only became permanent residents in 1997?

UCD News contains this information and a lot more. The issues often included general news and notices from around the University; college club and society notices; sports news; correspondence; as well as appointments and retirements. Profiles of individual Departments, Schools, or units were a regular feature, as were official communications, such as reports from the Governing Body or addresses by the President at graduations. The summer issues in particular often contain an overview of developments, both physical and academic, within the University over the previous year, as well as an interview with the President.

Taken as a whole, this wonderful collection illustrates the physical growth of the Belfield campus, academic developments within the University, and advancements in technology and work practices. It also highlights the changes in the demographics of the student body, documents the social aspects of staff and student life on campus, as well as elements of the wider higher education sector in Ireland.

St. Stephen’s

Released: 9th November 2018
St. Stephen’s

UCD Digital Library and UCD Special Collections are delighted to announce that the historic literary magazine, St. Stephen’s: A Record of University Life, is now available online.

St. Stephen's was a University College Dublin magazine, published monthly during term time, between 1901 and 1906. The contributors and editorial staff included names that would later become important figures in Irish literary, political, and educational circles. Initially edited by Hugh Kennedy, the magazine was subsequently edited by Felix Hackett, Thomas Kettle, Constantine Peter Curran, John Kennedy, and Francis Cruise O'Brien. Contributors were mainly staff and students of the University, among them James Joyce, Padraig Pearse, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, George Sigerson, Eoin MacNeill, and Patrick J. Little.

Regular segments to feature in the magazine include an editorial, the college calendar, correspondence, Girl Graduate Chat (later replaced with From the Ladies’ Colleges), Parvula Blandula, Notes from the Medical School, as well as various essays, poems, reviews, opinion pieces and contemporary advertisements.

Éamon de Valera Papers : British documents relating to 1916

Released: 28th September 2018
de Valera 1916

UCD Digital Library and UCD Archives are delighted to present the historically significant collection, Éamon de Valera Papers : British documents relating to 1916.

This is a collection of British documents and letters relating to the Easter Rising, 1916, and includes intelligence reports, despatches, and correspondence between Irish Command [Major-General L.B. Friend, (Lieutenant)-General Sir John Maxwell, and (Lieutenant)-General Sir Bryan Mahon], Home Forces, the War Office, M.I.5.G., and the Royal Irish Constabulary.

The collection covers the immediate aftermath of the Easter Rising, the executions of the leaders, and the general political situation in Ireland at the time. There are many noteworthy documents, including:

  • Intelligence report, dated 22nd March 1916 and marked 'Secret', stating that "Information has been received from an absolutely reliable source to the effect that ... the rising should be timed for the 22nd April".
  • Cipher messages, dated May 9th, 1916 and marked 'Secret', sent to Prime Minister Asquith in London, from General Maxwell in Dublin, regarding the executions of the leaders between 9th and 11th of May. Maxwell notes "We hope to deter by these examples and make the intriguers realise that we will not tolerate murder of loyal subjects, or any acts against the safety of the Realm".
  • Copies of cipher messages between the War Office and General Maxwell, also marked 'Secret', concerning Mrs. Pearse's request to be given her two sons' bodies for burial in consecrated ground. Maxwell refuses on the grounds that "These graves will be turned by Irish sentimentality into the shrines of martyrs and there will be a constant irritant in the country caused by annual procession etc. to them".

This collection represents a single file within the wider Papers of Éamon de Valera collection held in UCD Archives, and is made available under the terms of the UCD-OFM Partnership.

The Collected Letters of Nano Nagle

Released: 8th June 2018
Nano Nagle

UCD Digital Library, Professor Deirdre Raftery (UCD School of Education), and the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary are delighted to present The Collected Letters of Nano Nagle. This wonderful collection comprises of the surviving letters of Honora (Nano) Nagle (1718-1784), foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM).

The material is collated from three separate archival collections: the Presentation Sisters Congregational Archives, Cork (PSCA); the archives of the Presentation Convent, George's Hill, Dublin; and the Presentation Archives, San Francisco, USA. Within the PSCA, there are letters originally belonging to the Archives of the Ursuline Convent, Blackrock, Cork; these letters were gifted to the Irish Presentation Sisters on the occasion of the tercentenary of the birth of Nano Nagle (2018). There is also one letter that was gifted by the Presentation Convent, New Windsor, USA, on the occasion of the tercentenary.

The digital collection comprises of seventeen manuscript letters; the letters are from Nano Nagle to Eleanor Fitzsimons (later Sr. Angela Fitzsimons), an Irish religious novice in Paris, and from Nano Nagle to Teresa Mulally, educator of the poor, in Dublin. Transcriptions for the letters are also available.

This project has been made possible through funding from the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and UCD Foundation.

Dublin Metropolitan Police and Civic Guard (Garda Síochána) Personnel Registers

Released: 29th January 2018
Garda Registers

UCD Digital Library and An Garda Síochána are delighted to present the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Civic Guard (Garda Síochána) Personnel Registers collection. This wonderful collection comprises of two large volumes containing hand written entries recording the details of recruits and applicants to the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) and An Garda Síochána.

The Dublin Metropolitan Police General Service Register contains the names, background and service details of all 12,566 men who joined the DMP in its entire history. While the register actually covers the period from 1837 to 1975, only the entries up to 1925 have been digitised and made available online, for data protection reasons. The large double ledger volume records details such as: age or date of birth; height; trade or occupation; home town; previous public service details; and pay. Details of the religion of a recruit were added to the DMP General Register from October 1858.

The Civic Guard (Garda Síochána) Temporary Service Register details the names, backgrounds and military service of the first 6,040 men who joined An Garda Síochána from its inception, through the civil war, until September 1924. It also recorded chest measurements, as well as height. The unsuccessful applicants are recorded but are not given a registered number, and the reason for the rejection of an applicant is included. The volume also records separately the members who joined from Oriel House (the Criminal Intelligence Department) and the latest entry for this section is 16/5/1929.

The volumes will be of interest to those interested in genealogy and social history, as well as the history of policing in Ireland. The names of the successful applicants are recorded in a corresponding index file for each ledger, with a link to the relevant ledger page.

This project has been made possible through partnership with An Garda Síochána and UCD Digital Library, and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Sergeant Martin Drew, Garda Museum and Archives.

New Iberian Books website, with updated dataset

Released: 27 August 2018

UCD Digital Library and Professor Sandy Wilkinson, UCD School of History, are proud to announce that the Iberian Books project, which examines Spanish and Portuguese printing between 1472 and 1700, has launched its new website ( ).

UCD Library has collaborated with Professor Wilkinson and his team since 2013. The project has delivered a standardised bibliographic dataset of over 131,000 Iberian-printed book records; referencing 651,000 copies, and containing 460,000 references to resources, and 43,200 links to digital editions. The dataset is available through a custom-built, multi-lingual website (English, Portuguese, and Spanish), which includes functionality such as advanced search, new indexes and facets, data visualisations, pervasive linked data references, and page annotation via

The 2018 edition of the project provides a vast evidence base on printing during the Golden Age. The updated dataset now includes reference data on authors and printers, including their places of birth/death, gender, profession, dates of activity, and other details. The website enables digital scholarship within Digital Humanities by integrating data repository services, GIS and digital mapping, data visualisation, computer vision and image search, and web annotations, and harnesses the already established UCD Digital Library technologies of IIIF and Mirador.


You can view Iberian Books project online.

The Iberian Books website also now has a companion site called "Ornamento" that enables exploration of the graphical content of these early imprints, using close to quarter of a million images of ornate letters, ornaments, borders, musical notation, diagrams, and illustrations drawn from Iberian print before 1701. Visit this pilot project through the Iberian Books website or through its own dedicated site:

The Iberian Books Project has been funded primarily by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

Many thanks to Dr John B. Howard and Peter Clarke for their substantial technical work in bringing this amazing dataset and cutting edge technology together through such a innovative platform.

You can also view Ornamento online.

Launch of the digitization of the Letters of Nano Nagle and Summer School in Archives 2018

Released: 8 June 2018

2018 marks the Tercentenary Year of the birth of Nano Nagle, founder of the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To coincide with this special year, the Congregational Leadership Team of the Presentation Sisters sponsored a number of initiatives, including a PhD research project with University College Dublin, conducted by Deirdre Bennett and directed by Dr Deirdre Raftery. It also included the digitisation of the collected letters of Nano Nagle and a short online Google Arts & Culture Exhibition.

The launch of the digitised collected letters of Nano Nagle takes place during the Summer School in Archives 2018, which is held at Nano Nagle Place, Cork, where the Presentation Sisters Congregational Archives (PSCA) is located. Representing the UCD Digital Library team, Dr John B. Howard, University Librarian, will describe the UCD Digital Library and will then focus specifically on the Letters of Nano Nagle. He will also discuss the partnerships that enabled the creation of this digital collection; the methods taken to optimise the value of this research collection; and the opportunities going forward. Órna Roche, metadata librarian, will outline the range and number of processes undertaken to create the Nano Nagle digital collection.

You can view The Collection Letters of Nano Nagle online.

The online digital exhibit is also available on the Google Arts & Culture platform.

CONUL Annual Conference

Released: 29-30 May 2018

The topic of this years' conference was Transformative Experiences and this was reflected in the two contributions by the UCD Digital Library team.

Peter Clarke, Digital Services Programmer, presented a poster entitled "Real life digital curation and preservation", which won first prize at the poster competition. Congratulations to Peter!

The abstract for the poster reads: "Over the last eighteen months our digital collection holdings have increased exponentially as a result of a number of large digital preservation projects.In 2018, this workload is set to advance apace and will continue to present many new scenarios and challenges in terms of digital curation and preservation. This poster focuses on how curating and preserving cultural heritage and research data collections differ within our institution, alongside the challenges and opportunities faced on a daily basis."

You can view the poster here or below.

Audrey Drohan, Senior Library Assistant - Digital Initiatives, presented a lightning talk entitled "#nuntastic: transcribing Nano Nagle’s letters using collaborative transcription services".

The abstract for the talk reads: "Crowdsourced transcription platforms, as collaborative technology, are well-established, and offer an opportunity to exploit and expose OCR-resistant texts. However, these transcription services usually exist outside of digital library platforms. This poses a challenge for digital libraries attempting to manage added value services, such as user annotations, OCR (Optical Character Recognition), and crowdsourced transcription, and often results in innovative workflows to capture and reuse the resulting output. This output is extremely valuable, however, enabling enhanced visibility, findability and accessibility of digital content, and engaging users in digital scholarship by offering digital content beyond static images. One such project to benefit from these services is “The Collected Letters of Nano Nagle”.Nano Nagle, Mother Foundress of the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1775, was voted Ireland’s “greatest woman” in a poll conducted by the Irish Times (2005). The tercentenary of her birth will be marked in June 2018, and will include the online publication of 17 of her letters. While the physical letters are curated in Dublin, Cork, San Francisco and New York, this project facilitates the virtual reunification of such geographically dispersed material, which will be published together online this year for the first time. Online publication of disparate cultural heritage material is nothing new, but by leveraging evolving infrastructures, such as transcription platforms, for digital scholarship and engaging scholarly users, digital collections can be greatly enhanced. This paper will look at the challenges of creating a digital collection from transatlantic archives; augmenting the images by using one such collaborative transcription service (FromThePage) and utilising the expertise of scholarly users on this transcription platform to create searchable data; and ingesting the transcribed data into a trusted digital library platform to ensure greater findability and accessibility of 18th century handwritten letters.

Slides are available below:
Lightning Talk

Typography, Illustration and Ornamentation in the Early Modern Iberian Book world, 1450-1800

Released: 24-25 May 2018

This cross-disciplinary conference reflected on the broad themes of typography, illustration, and ornamentation in early-modern Spain, Portugal and the New World between 1450 and 1800. The conference also celebrated the completion of the latest phase of Iberian Books, covering the second half of the seventeenth century.

It also demonstrated Ornamento, an online repository of around a quarter of a million Spanish and Portuguese ornaments and illustrations, which is a collaborative project involving the Iberian Books and UCD Digital Library teams, utilising ground-breaking ImageMatch software developed by Professor Andrew Zisserman and Relja Arandjelovic of the University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science’s Visual Geometry Group, in collaboration with Giles Bergel (Oxford Faculty of English); Alexandra Franklin and Richard Ovenden (Bodleian Library).

The demo version of Ornamento will be released over the Summer.

Autumn 2017 Technology Updates

Released: 29 August 2017

We are pleased to announce that we have fixed a few bugs and added a number of enhancements to the UCD Digital Library.

1. Search Results Page

You can now toggle between the grid and list views on the Search results page. To do this, click on the blue button under the search box. Don't forget that you can also choose how many items you want to display per page result ('items per page'), and in which sort order ('sort options'). These options are in the navigational grey box, just above the search results.

The new grid view shows you a thumbnail of the item and its title (both of which are links to the descriptive record for the item), an abstract, an icon for the type of resource (still image, text, etc...), and the IIIF icon.

The IIIF icon will bring you directly to a new release of the Mirador IIIF Image Viewer.

Sample search result entry

2. Mirador IIIF Image Viewer

UCD Digital Library's default image viewer, Mirador, has been upgraded to the 2.5.2 release, which features many improvements and new features. These include:

  • Additional options in the Settings menu
  • The Crop, edit & save tool (also known as the IIIF Image Manipulation Tool) has moved to the side menu on the left
  • The Padlock icon toggles to allow you to lock the image at the zoom level you require
  • The Share icon allows you to copy a link to the image or the IIIF manifest, or share the image using popular Social Media applications
  • The Help icon now opens a pop-up box containing instructional videos on the Mirador IIIF Image Viewer, as well as a link to our Help pages
  • As we continue our development of crowd-sourced transcription services, buttons relating to either View Transcription or Add Transcription will appear in the menu, where appropriate
  • View Map green map marker symbol adds further geolocation capabilities (see Update 4 below)

Mirador Help box

You can also view the new help videos directly on our Vimeo channel at UCD Digital Library

3. IIIF Image Manipulation Tool

The IIIF Image Manipulation Tool (also known as the Crop, edit & save tool) allows you to crop and re-size images. While it has been available for some time, we have added new features to enhance the experience.

  • Option to select the entire image
  • Button to Preview the image
  • Button to Download the image
  • Button to Copy the persistent hyperlink (without having to select the link first)

Mirador Help box

4. Web Mapping Tool

Within the Mirador IIIF Image Viewer, where you see the green map marker symbol, this indicates that a map has been associated with the image. The image is overlaid on top of a web basemap, which has options for alternative basemaps such as Street Map, Light Map, Aerial Imagery, and Ancient World (where available). This provides additional context for the image you are viewing.

Other functionality include:

  • Adjustable opacity of the image over the web basemap
  • Zoom functionality
  • An info marker or polygon for the image, plus an index entry, which can be clicked to provide further contextual information
  • Polygon discovery mechanism to search for nearby items
  • Filter search results
  • Drag and drop functionality to allow items to be compared side-by-side

Watch the 'Mirador and Maps' instructional video for more details and instructions.

Mirador Help box

Heritage Week: Cultural Heritage Treasures of UCD

Released: 23 August 2017

UCD are delighted to invite you to a series of 20-minute illustrated talks on the Classical Museum, UCD Art Collection, National Folklore Collection, UCD Archives, UCD Special Collections, UCD Digital Library

Introduced and hosted by John McCafferty, Academic Curator, UCD Cultural Heritage Collection.

Timetable on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

  • 10.00 The Classical Museum - Dr Alexander Thein
  • 10.20 National Folklore Collection - Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh
  • 10.40 UCD Special Collections - Evelyn Flanagan
  • 11.00 UCD Digital Library - Jennifer Collery
  • 11.20 UCD Archives - Kate Manning
  • 11.40 The UCD Art Collection - Ruth Ferguson
Part of a programme of events taking place at UCD during National Heritage Week.

Location: Link 2, James Joyce Library, UCD

Admission Free

Further information can be found at

Loreto 1916

Released: 24th November 2016

We are delighted to announce the availability of a new collection in UCD Digital Library, with a complementary Google Arts and Culture exhibit, both based on items selected from the IBVM (Loreto) Irish Province Archives.

The material showcases the harrowing experiences of the Loreto Sisters and pupils during Easter Rising 1916. Excerpts from the digitised Loreto Convent Annals and other records offer unique eye witness accounts of the Rising in St Stephen’s Green, and detailed personal accounts of the experiences of the Rising in Rathfarnham.

It offers audiences a new opportunity to learn about the lives of Loreto Sisters 100 years ago and their unswerving dedication to their missions and ministries. We hope this new exhibition and digital collection will highlight the vast wealth of information that is preserved in the archives of religious orders.

The digital collection forms part of the new Convent Collection, to which further material will be added in the future.

This digitisation project has been undertaken by the UCD Digital Library, funded by the Irish Research Council, and directed by Professor Deirdre Raftery, UCD School of Education, with the cooperation of IBVM (Loreto) Irish Province Archives.

The Kangaroo

Released: 20th June 2016

UCD Digital Library and UCD Library Special Collections are delighted to present The Kangaroo, a newspaper published in 1914 on-board the troopship HMAT Afric.

HMAT Afric carried the men of the 1st battalion Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during World War I. The first issue of the newspaper was published after the ship's departure from Sydney on the 19th October, 1914, and publication ran until its arrival in Alexandria, Egypt on the 3rd December 1914. The newspaper was edited by Walter Wade, an Irish-born soldier in the AIF. This collection represents twenty-three issues of the paper, comprising of most issues published, along with variant editions and duplicates.

Detailed information about the collection was provided by Professor Erik Eklund, Keith Cameron Full Professor of Australian Studies, UCD School of History. The collection was kindly donated to UCD Library Special Collections by Frances Gillen, in 2015, on behalf of her father, John P. C. Goff. Frances Gillen is the grandniece of the editor, Walter Wade.

This collection gives a wonderful insight into the daily lives of the men on board the troopship, many of whom ended up on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and eventually at the western front in France and Belgium during World War I. Recorded in the newspaper are poems; fresh water supply updates; boxing results; eyewitness accounts of the engagements with the German warship, the Emden; details of transport collisions; a message from Field Marshal Kitchener; and a birth announcement for the on-board kittens.

Savoy Cinema Album

Released: 30th May 2016

UCD Digital Library, in partnership with the Irish Architectural Archive, is delighted to present the Savoy Cinema Album.

This wonderful collection features photographs recording the construction of the Savoy Cinema, O'Connell Street, Dublin and its appearance on completion.

The twenty-five images, spanning the period from July 1928 to January 1930, show key moments in the construction process, including site clearance, ground works, steelwork, stone work, internal work, and the completed interiors and exterior. The photographs also capture incidental details of the period such as the nature of construction sites, the labourers' attire, vehicles, and general Dublin street life.

The Savoy Cinema was built on the site of the Granville Hotel by Meagher & Hayes for Associated Irish Cinemas, a subsidiary of Associated British Cinemas. The cinema was designed by the architect Frederick Charles Mitchell, with interiors by W. E. Greenwood. The Savoy was opened by President W. T. Cosgrave on 29th November 1929.

Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) Prisoners Books

Released: 11th May 2016

The UCD Digital Library, in partnership with SIPTU and the Garda Museum and Archives, is delighted to present four volumes of historical significance.

The Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) Prisoners Books for 1905-1908 and 1911-1918 are amongst the most valuable new documents to come to light on the revolutionary decade. They include important information on social and political life in the capital during the last years of the Union, from the period of widespread anticipation of Home Rule, to the advent of the 1913 Lockout, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Easter Rising and its aftermath in 1916, and including the conscription crisis of 1918. They will also be invaluable to those interested in criminology, genealogy, and family history.

The collection comprises of four large leather bound, double ledger volumes containing hand written entries that record the details of daily charge sheets issued by DMP members to offenders or alleged offenders. Each volume contains the name, age, address, occupation, alleged offence and, in most cases, outcome of cases involving over 30,000 people arrested by the DMP. Each volume also contains an index of prisoners with references to the pages containing details of the charge. The information in these volumes serves, therefore, to provide new perspectives on life in Dublin during a time of war and revolution.

The four volumes have been brought together physically for the first time since the early 20th century, in part through extensive efforts by author, journalist, and trade union activist Pádraig Yeates, who also actively facilitated the digitisation of the volumes. The four volumes are held by the Garda Museum and Archives.

Irish Poetry Reading Collection - New Poets

Released: February 2016

Seven additional poets have been added to the Irish Poetry Reading Collection, a magnificent collection of filmed poetry readings, created and managed by UCD Library.

Readings from the new poets - Ailbhe Darcy, Desmond Egan, Gabriel Rosenstock, Jessie Lendennie, John McAuliffe, Jonathan Creasy, and Maurice Scully - have been added to the existing cohort of twenty-one, which brings the number of poems available to 120. Most of the readings are accompanied by a manuscript version of the poem.

The next release of additional poets is scheduled for September 2016.

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) 19th Century Historical Maps

Released:15th February 2016

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present a fascinating collection of large scale 19th century Irish town and city maps. This visual resource has been made possible due to a long-standing and successful partnership with Ordnance Survey Ireland. The OSi provided the UCD Digital Library with scanned images of the five foot and ten foot to one mile scale maps chiefly surveyed between 1837 and 1896.

The Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) 19th Century Historical Maps collection contains maps for almost 150 cities, towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland. Significantly, the large scale at which they were surveyed means that wonderful details such as the ground floor interior plans of public buildings from churches and banks to hospitals and railway terminals can be viewed on the maps. Find the maps by date and place and then zoom in on the beautiful cartographic detail.

OSi detail
GPO (Dublin) floor plan in 1864

These maps provide an invaluable source of information for anyone tracing the history of their family or local area. Researchers can compare the past to the present and find former street names, discover which industries formerly occupied sites, study transformations in the landscape to see how an urban site has emerged from a rural area.

At street level features include benchmarks, pillar boxes, public water pumps, gas plugs, hydrants and lamp posts. Other useful information includes the parish, barony, townland, ward and municipal boundaries which are all clearly marked. With building types such as mills, foundries, dye works, barracks shown not only is architectural history visualised but clues to working life in the past are revealed. Interested in 19th century forms of recreation - then locate places of culture and entertainment such as billiard rooms, galleries, tea houses, bull rings and Turkish baths.

The Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) 19th Century Historical Maps provide a fantastic wealth of detail to explore.

The Shan Van Vocht

Released:8th February 2016
The Shan Van Vocht

The UCD Digital Library proudly presents another wonderful historical journal from the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin.

The Shan Van Vocht was a national monthly magazine, founded by two Belfast poets, Alice Milligan and Anna Johnston (later Anna MacManus), which ran from 1896 until 1899. It contained literature, poetry, historical articles, and political commentary, as well as news and events of various cultural and political societies. Poetry and prose in Irish were also included, occasionally with an English translation.

As the centenary commemorations of 1798 approached, many issues included articles, short stories, oral histories, and poetry relating to the United Irishmen’s rebellion. James Connolly, Douglas Hyde, and Arthur Griffith were among those who contributed to the Shan Van Vocht. The journal also featured writings by P. J. McCall, Lionel Johnson, T.W. Rolleston, John MacNeill, William Rooney, Michael Cusack, Thomas Concannon, Alice Furlong, Nora Hopper, and Seumas MacManus under the pen name ‘Mac’.

Search Scanned Documents for Text Keywords

Released: 3 October 2016

UCD Digital Library now enables search of scanned documents using Full-text search, OCR, and IIIF Content Search.

Many documents within the UCD Digital Library are scanned books, pamphlets, and other textual documents. Hitherto these have been viewable, but their text content has not been searchable. Our technologies have now been developed so that the text within scanned images can now be searched, both through the Digital Library's general search capability, but also within the image viewer.

To execute a full-text search, just tick the box labelled "search full text" next to the basic search box. You can then search as usual, entering keywords, phrases enclosed in quotes, or using Boolean operators (AND, OR, AND NOT).

There are several key things that make full-text search possible:

  1. Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a process that recognises text within images and renders that text in a separate document. We have begun the task of retrospectively applying OCR to our corpus of scanned documents. More than 1,700 text documents have been subject to OCR as of October 1, 2016, and the process will be applied to all printed text documents in the Digital Library over the coming months.
  2. ALTO metadata is created by the OCR process. ALTO refers to "Analyzed Layout and Text Object" descriptions, whereby text and other page attributes recognised through the OCR process are encoded in a machine-readable format. This encoding captures not just the text of scanned documents, it also encodes where words, textlines, etc. appear on the digital image, using coordinates expressed as a unit of measurement (UCD Digital Library uses pixels). This information is then used to highlight search terms on a page image when it is viewed.
  3. Indexing of full-text is made possible by exposing text recognised through the OCR process and marked up in the ALTO format to our full-text search engine, Solr.

    A special kind of query is executed to search full-text that is different from other queries. Users specify that they wish to search full-text only by checking the "search full text" box when searching. Full-text searches entered in the search box can use Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and AND NOT; since only the full-text index is searched, one cannot combine full-text searches with searches of other specific indexes, and facets are not returned.

    Search results will show up to 12 lines of text where matches have been found; if a document contains more matching lines, the display of search results will indicate how many.

    Sample search result entry
  4. UniversalViewer and IIIF Content Search make it possible to view full-text documents and "search within" them for keywords. For viewing full-text documents, UCD Digital Library uses UniversalViewer—an open source project that supports presentation of digital artifacts in a IIIF-compliant viewer, and to search for full text within those documents via the IIIF Content Search protocol. IIIF Content Search provides a standard way for IIIF-compliant image viewers to query a search endpoint for text associated with a scanned document. UCD Digital Library's implementation is experimental but functional. It supports keyword searches, but does not support the use of Boolean operators or phrase searches.

  5. UniversalViewer screenshot

Mirador 2.1 Arrives with Many Enhancements

Released: 21 September 2016

UCD Digital Library's default image viewer, Mirador, has been upgraded to the new version 2.1 release, which features many improvements and new features. Mirador A IIIF-compliant viewer that enables comparison of multiple images, annotation features, and now implements tools for the manipulation of image brightness, contrast, saturation, and more. Mirador 2.1 is the UCD Digital Library's default image viewer for all visual resources in the repository.


  • Addition of non-rectangular shapes (circle, polygon, pin, and freehand drawing)
  • Draw one or more shapes per annotation
  • Edit or delete existing shapes as well as edit the body of the annotation
  • Ability to change border type, border color, and fill color

Image Manipulations

  • Rotate an image by 90 degrees
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation (on the client side)
  • Change image to grayscale or invert the colors (on the client side)

Improved UI

  • Addition of tooltips throughout the application
  • New languages added (Dutch, German, Irish, Japanese, and Korean) for increased internationalization as well as more of the UI is translatable
  • Better indicators for dropdowns vs toggles
  • Metadata UI improvements

Architecture improvements

  • Support to add other types of rich text editors other than TinyMCE
  • Support to add other types of bookmarking APIs other than JSON Blob
  • Support to add new tabs to the Side Panel
  • Multiple Instances of Mirador on a single page no longer interfere with one another
  • New settings to configure Mirador on initialization
  • Settings can now also be set using dot notation

Table of Contents

  • Support for IIIF 2.0 Ranges, as defined in the Presentation API
  • Disorienting auto-scrolling has been disabled

Improved Drag and Drop support

  • Dragging in collections adds them to the manifest list
  • Dragging in a URL works as well as dragging in a special icon
  • Browser compatibility for drag and drop improved
  • Dragging into an open window replaces that object

Google Arts & Culture

Released: 12th September 2016

UCD Library and UCD Archives are delighted to announce that their first online Exhibit has been made available on Google Arts & Culture.

The Exhibit, based on prose created by Professor Diarmaid Ferriter for the physical exhibition, and featuring images from two collections held by UCD Archives (Kevin Barry Papers and the Papers of the Kevin Barry Memorial Committtee), was curated by Rosalind Pan (Head of Outreach, UCD Library), and created by Audrey Drohan (UCD Digital Library).

UCD Library joined Google Arts & Culture in December 2015; however, due to other commitments, are only now publishing their first Exhibit.

"The Library at University College Dublin" Google Arts & Culture page, along with the Exhibit, can be found at

International Archives Day 2016 #IAD16

Released: 7th June 2016

UCD Archives, UCD Digital Library, UCD Special Collections and the National Folklore Collection UCD (the four cultural heritage units which now form part of UCD Library) are planning a Twitter campaign to celebrate International Archives Day on 9th June.

The International Council on Archives ( launched International Archives Day in 2007 (ICA was created under the auspices of UNESCO, on 9 June 1948). The purpose of the day is to celebrate and promote the range and diversity of archival collections around the world and to encourage engagement with archival materials by as wide an audience as possible.

All four repositories will tweet throughout the day with images of, or links to, items in our collections.

Further information can be found on the UCD Library's new page:

UCD joins Digital Preservation Coalition

Released: 4th April 2016

UCD Library, in association with IT Services, UCD Research, School of Information and Communication Studies and School of History (Archives) has recently become an Associate Member of the UK-based Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC:

Associate membership of the DPC will help to add momentum to UCD’s development activities, and enhance how we handle digital / data research outputs; it will also help to ensure that we develop best practice in this fast-changing area. Preservation of such assets is a key component of the digital / data lifecycle and enables long-term access to content, providing greater access and increasing overall impact.

Settings widget

New Features for Image Viewing and Annotations

Released: 10th June 2015

UCD Digital Library has implemented a trial implementation of the Mirador image viewer and the document annotation tool.

Mirador is a native IIIF image viewer that has been optimised to display resources from repositories that support the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) API’s. It provides a tiling windowed environment for comparing multiple image-based resources, supporting synchronised structural and visual navigation of content using OpenSeadragon, Open Annotation compliant annotation creation and viewing on deep-zoomable canvases, metadata display, book reading, bookmarking and more. To see Mirador in action, visit our demo page.

To make Mirador the default image viewer while using the UCD Digital Library, select the Settings widget from the Digital Library navigation widget and choose "Use Mirador viewer." is a framework for annotating resources on the web. Its sponsors and developers view it as a mechanism for applying a new layer of commentary and criticism to resources found on the web. It allows textual annotations for private reference use, but also enables interactive discussions among commentators and embedding or linking of media resources.

To enable use of, select the Settings widget (see above) and choose "Enable annotations."

Please note: To save your annotations, you must create a user account with and observe their terms and conditions of use. (This can be at the point when you have created an annotation and wish to save it.)

Both the Mirador image view and are made available on a trial basis and we will be interested to know what you think of them, or how you are using them. Please let us know at


UCD Digital Library Expands Support for IIIF APIs

Released: 8th June 2015

UCD Digital Library has implemented support for the IIIF Presentation API, a means for disseminating images that promotes the use and integration of image information across all sites that support the API.

Proposed by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) group, the API is intended to support the following objectives (from the Abstract,

  • The IIIF Presentation API specifies a web service that returns JSON-LD structured documents that together describe the structure and layout of a digitized object or other collection of images and related content. Many different styles of viewer can be implemented that consume the information to enable a rich and dynamic user experience, consuming content from across collections and hosting institutions.

The implementation at UCD builds on its support for the IIIF Image API, which allows users to request images whose attributes—file format, size, etc.—are tailored to their specific needs. While the Image API returns image data to users, the IIIF Presentation provides descriptive and technical information in the form of a manifest that enables images to be requested to build compelling presentations. Such presentations might consist of a simple image viewing application, but the IIIF Presentation API also facilitates implementation of viewers that enable comparison of images from multiple institutions.

For further information on access to the UCD Digital Library IIIF Presentation API, see


UCD Digital Library Certified as Ireland’s First “Trusted Digital Repository”

Released: 9th March 2015
Updated: 13th April 2016

Providing sustainable infrastructure for digital scholarship, research data and Irish cultural heritage

The UCD Digital Library has been awarded the “Data Seal of Approval” and, as such, is now recognised as a “Trusted Digital Repository” under the certification framework for digital repositories recognised by the European Commission. UCD Digital Library is the first digital repository in Ireland to hold this designation.

The Data Seal of Approval (DSA) was established by a number of institutions committed to the long-term archiving of research data. By assigning the seal, the DSA community seeks to assure the durability of the data concerned. However, it also supports the need of researchers, research funders, and curators of digital cultural resources for third-party certification that a data repository is reliable and compliant to the technical, ethical and legal regulations that are integral to the concept of trust.

The DSA is granted to repositories that are committed to archiving and providing access to scholarly research in a sustainable way.

"Trust is not something that can be claimed, trust is something one party grants to another." stated UCD Librarian John Howard. "Data Seal of Approval certifies that an expert third party has reviewed our practices and policies and found them compliant to standards and internationally recognised best practices for sustainable, durable, and ethical curation and management of research and cultural heritage data."

The Data Seal of Approval

  • gives researchers the assurance that their research results will be stored in a reliable manner and can be reused;
  • provides research sponsors with the guarantee that research results will remain available for reuse;
  • enables researchers, in a reliable manner, to assess the repository where research data are held; and
  • allows data repositories to archive and distribute research data efficiently.

The DSA certification relies on 16 criteria that determine whether or not digital research data may be qualified as sustainably archived. The criteria ascertain that the research data is discoverable on the internet, accessible, usable, reliable and citable.

As Ireland’s leading digital repository service, UCD Digital Library provides a range of value-added services that promote the visibility and impact of cultural resources and scholarly outputs of UCD researchers and research partners:

  • it assigns DOIs for research data as well as scholarly publications, enhancing the ability to reliably cite digital resources;
  • it is the only digital repository in Ireland to use the ORCiD identifier—a non-proprietary identifier that uniquely identifies individual researchers, thereby assuring non-ambiguous attribution of scholarly outputs; and
  • it is the sole repository in Ireland, and one of few in Europe, that actively contributes records of research data to OpenAIREplus—a pan-European registry of research data created with sponsorship of European funding agencies.

The UCD Digital Library was initially developed with support of the Higher Education Authority's Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI), Cycle 3, as the "Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA)." Rebranded as the UCD Digital Library in 2011, the repository has transitioned from dependence on external funding to being a sustainable core service of UCD Library, organisationally embedded and supported by the Library's Research Services unit. The UCD Digital Library captures and disseminates the data outputs of scholarly research at UCD and supports UCD's cultural heritage organisations in making digitised content from their collections broadly available.

UCD Digital Library resides at; its Data Seal of Approval documentation is available at Regarding the European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories, see

For further information, please contact UCD Digital Library at, or Dr John B Howard, UCD Librarian, +353.(0)1.716.7067,

Irish Poetry Reading Collection

Released: 2nd December 2015

UCD Digital Library is excited to present the Irish Poetry Reading Collection, a magnificent collection of filmed poetry readings, created and managed by UCD Library.

The collection, which forms part of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, is a central repository for readings by Irish poets, in both the English and the Irish language. This collection aims to capture and preserve the rich and diverse landscape of poetry in Ireland, and includes the voices of: established poets; emerging poets; performance poets; avant-garde poets; English and Irish language poets; and Irish diaspora poets. Many of the readings are accompanied by handwritten or typed transcriptions of the poem, created by the poet especially for the reading.

IPRA Launch
L-R: Evelyn Flanagan, Special Collections librarian;
Eugene Roche, acting Special Collections librarian;
Dr John B. Howard, University Librarian; and
Ursula Byrne, Head of Development and Strategic
Programmes, UCD Library

Irish Poetry Reading Archive Launches

Released: 2nd December 2015

The Irish Poetry Reading Archive, developed by UCD Library, was launched on December 2nd by Heather Humphreys, Minister of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. Also speaking at the Newman House launch were UCD Librarian John B. Howard, Paula Meehan, the Ireland Chair of Poetry, accompanied by poets Biddy Jenkinson and Michael Coady, who read from their own poetry.

The Irish Poetry Reading Collection, which forms part of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, is a central repository for readings by Irish poets, in both the English and the Irish language. This collection aims to capture and preserve the rich and diverse landscape of poetry in Ireland, and includes the voices of: established poets; emerging poets; performance poets; avant-garde poets; English and Irish language poets; and Irish diaspora poets. Many of the readings are accompanied by handwritten or typed transcriptions of the poem, created by the poet especially for the reading.

This collection is an ongoing project, which started in 2014, and is created and managed by UCD Library. Bringing together the voices of Irish poets in a curated secure environment will ensure that this cultural heritage collection is preserved for future generations. Over time, the collection will become a resource of national scope and significance, serving both national and international readers and scholars with interests in Irish poetry. UCD Library is extremely grateful to the large number of poets who are featured in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, many of them Aosdána members, who have generously and freely given of their time to initiate the project.

An information LibGuide for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive can be found here.

An article about the Irish Poetry Reading Archive in The Irish Times can be found here.

The Irish Poetry Reading Collection in UCD Digital Library can be found here.

The Launch of the Kevin Barry Collections

Released: 5th November 2015

UCD Library, UCD Archives, and the UCD Student Centre, are delighted to launch two wonderful and evocative collections, honouring one of Irish history's young heroes. Kevin Barry, a medical student at University College Dublin, was executed for his part in an ambush which resulted in the deaths of three British Army officers in 1920. He was hanged on the 1st of November 1920, despite numerous appeals for his life to be spared. He was 18 years old.

The Kevin Barry Papers, held in UCD Archives, contain material associated with his days at Belvedere College, his year as a medical student in UCD, and his brief time in custody at Mountjoy Prison before execution. The majority of the collection is composed of material gathered by Kathy Barry Maloney, Barry's sister, after his death.

The Papers of the Kevin Barry Memorial Committee, recently purchased by the UCD Student Centre and held in UCD Archives, comprises the papers and correspondence of the Kevin Barry Memorial Committee, who were formed to raise funds to create a memorial to Kevin Barry. The Committee commissioned Harry Clarke Stained Glass Limited to create a stained glass window dedicated to Kevin Barry. The window, designed by Richard King, was erected in Earlsfort Terrace and unveiled on 1st November 1934. In 2010, the window was conserved, restored and relocated in the Charles Institute at Belfield, the current campus of University College Dublin.

Kevin Barry Launch
Gerry O’Donovan and Kevin Barry,
grandnephe​ws of Kevin Barry

In a fitting tribute to the legacy of Kevin Barry, both collections were launched by UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks, UCD Librarian Dr John B. Howard, and historian Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, on Thursday 5th November 2015, in front of the Kevin Barry Memorial window. The launch was attended by the relatives of Kevin Barry, the staff involved in the creation of the digital collections, and distinguished guests.

Introducing the collections, Dr John Howard highlighted the fact that "the artefacts in this collection are the material reminder of the life of a young man, in fact a boy, who gave his life at the age of 18 as part of a patriotic cause. And we selected this week for this launch because it is now...95 years from the date of Kevin Barry's execution".

Professor Andrew Deeks, commented on the appropriateness of the UCD Charles Institute for the launch event, saying "where better to launch such an exciting digitisation project than here at the magnificent window commemorating the life of Kevin Barry, which is a jewel in UCD collection". Continuing, he stated "The names of Ireland's historic past are deeply intertwined with UCD, but perhaps the most poignant name of them all is Kevin Barry, who lost his life at just 18 years of age, but whose short but prolific life and times we celebrate here this evening". Professor Deeks then officially launched the collections.

Kevin Barry Launch
Meet the team: (back) Dani Montes, Julia
Barrett, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor
Mark Rogers, Dr John Howard, Orna
Somerville, Órna Roche, (front) Audrey Drohan,
Professor Andrew Deeks, and Kate Manning

Concluding the speeches was an illuminating address by eminent historian, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter. Giving context to the events of 1920, he described it as a "bloody awful year". As well as the execution of Kevin Barry, 1920 was the year that saw the burning of Cork; the sack of Balbriggan; the murderous riots in Northern Ireland; the death of Terence MacSwiney; Bloody Sunday; and the Kilmichael Ambush. Exploring the reasons why Kevin Barry's death had such an impact, in the midst of "this mayhem, this destruction, this killing", Professor Ferriter referenced the fact that "Kevin Barry was a mere boy, and that was the description that was used at the time, and is still, of course, used today". Emphasising the fact that "Kevin Barry faced his death with great courage and dignity", Professor Ferriter stressed that "Kevin Barry's killing secured his place in the pantheon of Nationalist heroes".

His closing remarks were particularly important, where he stated that "The challenge for us as historians is to keep a focus on the history, and on the context, and on the layers, and on the nuance and, of course, on the sources, as opposed the being preoccupied with contrivance, and politics, and selectivity, because they are always par for the course of commemoration…You cannot understand the Revolutionary Period in Ireland unless you have some knowledge of the collections that exist in UCD Library and UCD Archives...what we have here tonight is not, of course, voluminous - how could it be? The archive of a mere boy of 18, but that makes it all the more precious. That what we have, we showcase; that what we have, we digitise".

Both collections are now publicly available. A short biography of Kevin Barry, written by Professor Ferriter, can be found here.

Kevin Barry Papers

Released: 5th November 2015
Kevin Barry

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present the Kevin Barry Papers, an evocative historical collection, held in UCD Archives.

A collection of material relating to Kevin Barry, who was executed for his part in the killing of three British soldiers in 1920. The collection contains 56 items, including material associated with his days at Belvedere College, his year as a medical student in UCD, and his brief time in custody at Mountjoy Prison before execution. The majority of the collection is composed of material gathered by Kathy Barry Maloney, Barry's sister, after his death.

The whole collection is a very vivid record of a volatile period in modern Irish history. It captures especially well the violent baptism this country received at independence, and the esteem in which those who had died for 'the cause' were held at the time. Kevin Barry was, by all accounts, an enthusiastic and popular young man, and his life was shattered by involvement in the Republican struggle. The collection captures the pathos of his imprisonment and execution, but also the anarchy and violence in which Ireland of the time was engulfed.

Papers of the Kevin Barry Memorial Committee

Released: 5th November 2015
Kevin Barry Memorial

UCD Digital Library is delighted to also present the Papers of the Kevin Barry Memorial Committee, an informative archival collection recently bought by UCD Student Crentre, and held in UCD Archives.

This collection comprises the papers and correspondence of the Kevin Barry Memorial Committee. The Committee was formed to raise funds to create a memorial to Kevin Barry (20 January 1902 – 1 November 1920). They commissioned Harry Clarke Stained Glass Limited to create a stained glass window. The window, designed by Richard King, was erected in Earlsfort Terrace and unveiled on 1 November 1934. In 2010, the window was conserved, restored and relocated in the Charles Institute at Belfield, the current campus of University College Dublin.

The collection contains 145 items, including correspondence, committee minutes records, reports, subscriber lists, and the notes on the design of the window.

Going Digital…the application of new technologies to facilitate research insights

Released: September 2015

Our “Going Digital” series of workshops is a new initiative, bringing together those in the Humanities and Social Sciences who wish to learn and experiment with a range of technologies to enhance their research. While the term “Digital Humanities” is often used to describe this field, the technologies can be used in a wide range of disciplines e.g. Business, Health, Agriculture; this workshop series is open to researchers in all disciplines.

To book your place on a workshop, please go to

Full details about the workshops can be found in the Going Digital...brochure.

Going Digital
Going Digital... An overview
20/10/2015 Introduction to this developing area with a brief outline of the supports available from UCD, as well as examples
22/10/2015 Content Management versus Collections Management – What is the Right Tool to Share Research Data with the Public?
05/11/2015 Google Tools for Digital Scholarship
17/11/2015 How to Put Your Data on a Map: Geospatial Data Manipulation and Visualisation
03/12/2015 Tools for Digital Humanities Scholarly Innovation: TimelineJS, JuxtaposeJS, StoryMapJS, ESRI StoryMaps
14/01/2016 Considering and Comparing: Palladio versus Exhibit - Giving Digital Research Data Temporal, Spatial and Relational Dimensions
02/02/2016 Display your Historic Map over Modern Data: Georeferencing to Enable Visual Comparisons
11/02/2016 Requirements Engineering for Humanities Scholarship
25/02/2016 Visualising Environmental Data Using ArcGIS and MapGenie
06/04/2016 Making a Map with Google Mapping Products
21/04/2016 Security, Hosting and Infrastructure Considerations
27/04/2016 Your Digital Research Project: an Open Clinic

Re-tooling and Workflows

Update: 2015

The Digital Library team are finalising and testing the revamped, and now highly sophisticated, metadata environment: IMAD (Ingest, Metadata, and Administration Database); as well as new workflows for the Digital Library.

The process has been a long and arduous one, bringing our Digital Library cataloguing environment up-to-date with all of the new attributes and workflows for MODS 3.4, as well as incorporating our Linked Data URIs. Concurrently, all of our post-cataloguing workflows had to be revised, as we finally step away from 'migration mode' (rescuing the IVRLA collections and bringing them up-to-date for UCD Digital Library) and enter our new 'production mode'.

Here is a screen shot of the new IMAD:


1916 Rising Postcards

Released: 7th August 2015
1916 Rising Postcards

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present the 1916 Rising Postcards, an exciting visual collection from the Constantine Curran collection, held in UCD Library, Special Collections.

The postcards were mainly published in 1916 in the immediate aftermath of the Insurrection. They provide an excellent contemporary pictorial record of the damage to the city; one showing a “before and after” photograph of Sackville (O’Connell) Street. Some are reproductions of “under fire” photos taken by the Daily Sketch photographer and published by Easons. Other series were produced by Hely’s and Coleman’s publishers.

The collection contains 37 distinct postcards (as well as duplicates) collected by Constantine Curran.

BEHIND THE “PRETTY PICTURES” - UCD Digital Library talk workflows at the CONUL Conference

Released: July 2015

UCD Digital Library presented on their digital collections workflow during the inaugural CONUL Conference in July. Órna Roche and Audrey Drohan gave a lightning talk outlining the nine processes in the workflow, along with the skillsets needed, the tools of the trade, and some details about the tasks involved. These include profiling a collection, digitisation and processing, cataloguing, copyright, preservation, ingestion, quality review, publicity, and evaluation.

The slideshow can be found on SlideShare (direct link) and the video can be viewed below (talk starts at 1:24).

Fr Francis A. Gleeson

Released: 27th April 2015

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present a stunning and harrowing World War I collection, courtesy of the Dublin Diocesan Archives.

The Fr Francis A. Gleeson Papers contain material relating to Fr Gleeson's time as Military Chaplain between 1914 and 1919. This includes his diaries while serving in France, and Brigade Roll Books, listing soldiers from the Royal Munster Fusiliers and other regiments.

The diaries give an account of the horror of war in all its sufferings and privations, while detailing the extraordinary importance of faith to the Irish men whose lives were daily sacrificed on the front line. They give insight into the terrible conditions suffered by the troops, as well as activities such as destruction of property, the ordinary French people, acts of valour, kindness, death, coffin making, and much more.

Correspondence between Fr. Gleeson and the families of men missing or killed in action show his interest in their plight, and offers help and support. Many of the letters thank him for his kindness and acknowledge the great affection their loved ones had for him.

This is a truly exceptional collection, which illustrates the reality and hardships of World War I, the devastating effect of war, and resilience of the human spirit. This collection was made possible due a unique collaboration with the Dublin Diocesan Archives.


Released: 3rd February 2015

UCD Digital Library is delighted to present a wonderful historical journal collection, courtesy of the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin.

Pat was an Irish three-penny weekly satirical periodical, published and printed in Dublin by W. P. Swan. It was founded in 1879 by political cartoonist and illustrator John Fergus O'Hea, and writer and editor Edwin Hamilton, with cartoonist Thomas Fitzpatrick later joining the team in 1881. Pat ceased publication in March 1883.

A summary printed in a number of issues describes the content as "artistic, literary, humorous, satirical… Each number contains, printed in several colours, one double page cartoon and one or more full page cartoons, besides numerous uncoloured sketches and minor illustrations. The literary matter, supplied by Irish writers of recognised ability, will treat of current events, not only in Dublin, but in all parts of Ireland". Regular features included a diary of the character Pat, reports on theatre productions in Dublin, descriptions of Dublin streets and areas, and travel notes from around Ireland and London. The illustrations cover many of the major political, social, and cultural issues of the period.

Digital Humanities Awards 2014

Update: February 2015

UCD Digital Library is nominated for the Digital Humanities Awards 2014, for Best Use of Digital Humanities For Public Engagement!

If you would like to vote for UCD Digital Library (and to see lots of other really great Digital Humanities projects and tools), simply fill in a form here (there is no need to subscribe or to create an account).

Thank you for your support!

Dublin Town Planning Competition 1914

Released: 12th December 2014
Town Planning

The Dublin Town Planning Competition 1914 collection is the latest new and exciting collection
to be added to the UCD Digital Library. The collection brings together important early 20th century urban planning resources from three different locations (UCD Library, Special Collections; UCD’s Architectural Library at Richview; and the Irish Architectural Archive).

The Competition was held in 1914, and its aim was to "elicit Plans and Reports of a preliminary and suggestive character…which may be of value towards the guidance of the future development of the City in its various directions". Eight entries were submitted in total, each relating to the Greater Dublin area, taking in Howth, Glasnevin, Ashtown, Dundrum and Dalkey, and arranged under the following main headings: communications, housing, and metropolitan improvements. The submission by Patrick Abercrombie, Sydney Kelly and Arthur Kelly was awarded the prize in 1916; however, due to the political and historical events of that era, the winning entry was not officially published until 1922, with the final Civic Report not published until 1925. Out of the eight entries, only three are known to have survived, and these are being made available online for the first time together, as part of this collection.

If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of the missing five entries, please contact the UCD Digital Library at

While none of the proposals were implemented, this is a rare opportunity to imagine what Dublin could have looked like, had history not intervened.

HEAnet National Conference 2014

Update: 12th December 2014

The annual HEAnet National Conference was held in Cork this year, and included a very popular library stream. Speaking at the event, University Librarian, Dr John B. Howard, gave an insight into the work around developing flexible interfaces in support of the UCD Digital Library, and the many uses of APIs as part of the infrastructure. View the talk (with slides) on the HEAnet conference website here.

UCD Digital Library programmer, Peter Clarke, and Senior Library Assistant - Digital Initiatives, Audrey Drohan, also spoke at the conference, giving a lightning talk (6 minutes!) on the topic of a Digital Library Survival Tool-kit. Those slides are also available online.

New Responsive Website, With Improved Functionality

Released: 1st November 2014

The latest release of the UCD Digital Library web interface contains many new and exciting improvements. What follows is a brief update of the main developments. Further information can be found in the documentation in the Services and About sections of this website. We will be adding to the documentation and Help sections over the coming weeks.

Responsive Web Interface

  • "Mobile First" design – consistent user experience from mobile phone to tablet to desktop
  • Bootstrap 3.X
  • Support for metadata
  • Support for OpenGraph metadata
  • Support for Twittercards

New Services Architecture

  • Microservices exposed through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
    • Web API (methods for interacting with the Digital Library web site)
    • IIIF Image API v. 1.0 (dynamic image delivery)
    • Geospatial Data API (access to UCD Geospatial Knowledgebase, Ancient World Mapping Center, and more)
    • Quantitative Data API (preview Open Access survey datasets)
    • Linked Data API (download metadata in RDF formats)
    • Opensearch API (query the Digital Library's Solr indexes)
  • OAI-PMH endpoint
  • SPARQL endpoint (Virtuoso Universal Server)

Persistent Identifiers

  • Improved ability to cite and link persistently to cultural heritage or research data objects
  • DataCite DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)
  • ARKs (Archival Resource Keys)
  • ORCiD identifiers for individual researchers
  • FundRef identifiers for research funders

Research Data

  • Data registration for any kind of research data
  • Registration of datasets with DataCite registry of research data and assignment of DataCite DOIs
  • Registration of datasets with Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) Data Citation Index
  • Registration of datasets with OpenAIREplus

Linked Data/Semantic Web and Metadata Export

  • Linked Data API and SPARQL endpoint
  • Maximised used of linked data references in MODS3.5 descriptive metadata
  • RDF serialisations for all objects in the repository (RDF-XML, N3/Notation3, N-triples, N-Quads, Turtle, TriX, JSON)
  • Downloadable RDF metadata via the Web API
  • Downloadable DC and MODS metadata via Web API
  • Export to common citation management applications
  • Continued export to Europeana
  • Linkages via Web API to Europeana, Digital Public Library of America

Maps and Map Visualisation

  • Geocoding of objects to identify place associations or geographic coverage
  • Encoding of points and bounding box information in metadata
  • Linkages to geospatial reference datasets (geonames, OpenStreetMap, logainm)
  • Linkages to UCD Geospatial Knowledgebase via Geospatial Data API
  • Geospatial search via Solr and PostgreSQL/PostGIS application services
  • Map visualisations using LeafletJS

Supported Sites for Collaborators

  • Stand-alone sites for sponsored partners
    Example: Iberian Books

Maps of Dublin accompanying Thom's Official Directory

Released: 10th October 2014

The latest items to be added to the UCD Digital Library are nine Thom's maps of the city and environs of Dublin from the maps collection of the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy.

Printed by the Ordnance Survey for the Dublin publisher Alexander Thom from the OS six-inch map sheets 18 and 22, they date from the late 19th century. These individual maps were originally published in Thom's annual Almanac and Official Directory.

UCD Library and GPEP collaborated to identify and digitise selected maps held in GPEP's extensive map collection, Thom's being the first which are now available as digital images.

Urban Modelling Group (UMG)

Released: October 2014

The Urban Modelling Group (UMG) is based in the UCD School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at University College Dublin. Professor Debra F Laefer heads this group and it formed in 2006 to bridge the efforts of the architectural heritage community and those of practising engineers by introducing, adapting, and generating new technologies to help safeguard built urban heritage.

In light of rapid increases in both urbanisation and subsurface construction, architectural heritage faces an unprecedented level of threat from tunnelling, adjacent excavation, blasting, dewatering, and vehicular vibration. To address these threats, Laefer's group of 14 researchers (three postdocs, ten doctoral students, and one master's student) comprise three teams: remote sensing, computational modelling, and technology development (currently focused on 3D printing).

The main thrust of the current work is the EU-funded ERC project RETURN: Rethinking Tunnelling in Urban Neighbourhoods. The goal of that project is to create a completely automated pipeline from aerial laser scanning to city-scale computational modelling.

To date, one project and 3 main datasets have been made available. Others will be published as they become available.

Desmond FitzGerald Photographs

Released: 21st January 2014

UCD Digital Library now offers a valuable visual history of a key period in Irish history with its most recent addition, the Desmond FitzGerald Photographs.

This digitised collection of 179 photographs from the Desmond FitzGerald Papers covers the:

  • Easter Rising, 1916
  • War of Independence, 1919-1921
  • Civil War, 1922-1923 (majority)

It is available to view in the UCD Digital Library at

This collection of photographs, mainly from the studio of W.D. Hogan, came to UCD Archives in the papers of Desmond FitzGerald. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, FitzGerald was responsible for the operation of the Free State Publicity Department, directed by Se√°n Lester; and it is safe to assume most of the photographs in this collection originated from the work of the Department.

While there are small groups of photographs relating to the Easter Rising and the War of Independence (the photographs of Sackville Street/O'Connell Street in the immediate aftermath of the Rising are particularly redolent and atmospheric) the majority of the photographs were taken during the Civil War and are a uniquely valuable visual diary of that most unhappy period of modern Irish history.

Read an illustrated feature about this collection by Seamus Helferty of UCD Archives in the latest UCD Library Newsletter.

UCD Digital Library Implements Support for ORCiD

ORCiD logo

UCD Library announces support for use of ORCiD identifiers to identify researchers associated with research data published in the UCD Digital Library.

What is ORCID? ORCiD is an international, interdisciplinary, open, and not-for-profit organisation created for the benefit of the research community, including research institutions, funding organisations, publishers, and researchers. ORCiD creates a unique persistent identifier for researchers registered with the service, thereby providing a means of addressing the ambiguity associated with personal names in research publications. Adoption of ORCiD by the research community enhances discovery and reporting processes by supporting systems interoperability.

ORCiD support is implemented in the descriptive information (metadata) associated with research datasets and publications hosted in the UCD Digital Library. In particular, whenever an ORCiD identifier is available, it is embedded in the MODS, Dublin Core and DataCite metadata that underlie all resources in the Digital Library that are assigned a DOI.

An example of how links to ORCiD identifiers are supported in the web interface of the Digital Library can be seen in records of geospatial data submitted by UCD Professor Debra Laefer's Urban Modeling Group at this URL:

The UCD Digital Library is an institutionally supported, preservation-oriented trusted digital repository that holds a heterogeneous collection of resources from UCD's cultural heritage repositories and an increasing number of data assets captured or produced by UCD research activities. It is accessible at

For further information please contact

For more about ORCiD see For more about DataCite see For more about DOIs, see the DOI Handbook,

UCD Library Implements Digital Identifiers - DOIs and ARKs

EZID logo

UCD Library has joined leading international libraries and data centres in becoming part of the California Digital Library's EZID service community. Membership in this service achieves an essential component of the strategy for development of the UCD Digital Library for compliance with international standards for long-term access to data and to enable data citation.

The EZID service enables assignment of two types of identifiers for persistent access to online data and information: DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) and ARKs (Archival Resource Keys). DOIs are widely used in scholarly publications as a means of providing a network address that will reliably connect users with publications in the long term; they also therefore enable reliable citation of publications. The DOIs assigned through EZID, however, are intended to facilitate persistent access to and citation of digital data. These DOIs relate to DataCite, a service that has been established to help researchers find, access and reuse data of all kinds. ARKs are widely used in the library, archive and museum communities for identifying and locating digital data; they can be used "behind the scenes" to facilitate management of components of datasets that would not appropriately be cited on their own. Their use can, then, be complementary to the use of DOIs.

"By subscribing to the EZID service, UCD Library becomes a service provider to the UCD community at large for registration of digital content with DataCite and for assignment of DOIs to data of all kinds," explains UCD Librarian John B Howard. "The EZID service provides the flexibility of using both DataCite DOIs and ARKs", he continues, "and allows the assignment of distinct DOI namespaces for the UCD Digital Library and the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA)."

DOIs will be assigned to all web-accessible data held in the UCD Digital Library. Initial use will be to identify datasets from Professor Debra Laefer‚'s Urban Modeling Group at University College Dublin and a collection of dramatic photographs documenting the aftermath of the 1916 Rising from the Desmond FitzGerald Collection in UCD Archives.

The UCD Digital Library is an institutionally supported, preservation-oriented trusted digital repository that holds a heterogeneous collection of resources from UCD‚'s cultural heritage repositories and an increasing number of data assets captured or produced by UCD research activities. It is accessible at

For more about the California Digital Library's EZID service, see For more about DataCite see For more about DOIs, see the DOI Handbook,

Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native manuscript

Released: March 2013

UCD Digital library is pleased to announce the launch of a digitised version of the original manuscript of Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native.

This novel was originally serialized in Belgravia magazine in twelve installments during 1878 and was published in full in November of that year.

The manuscript was given to the literary editor, Clement King Shorter, by Hardy in recompense for his having arranged for the binding of all of the Hardy's manuscripts. Shorter left the manuscript in his will to the National University of Ireland in memory of his first wife, Dora Sigerson Shorter, daughter of George Sigerson, professor of zoology at University College Dublin.

UCD Library would like to acknowledge the help and encouragement of Professor Tim Dolin, Curtin University, and Professor Simon Gatrell of the University of Georgia. The present project is in some ways the culmination of a process started in 1986 when Professor Gatrell edited the first facsimile edition of the manuscript. The current online reproduction will bring the manuscript to a much wider audience of Hardy scholars, while at the same time helping to preserve the original.

19th Century Irish Social History Pamphlets Collection

Released: February 2013
NDLR Pamphlets

The National Digital Learning Resources (NDLR) has funded the digitisation of a collection of 91 social history pamphlets, and an atlas, from the 19th century.

The pamphlets are part of UCD Library Special Collections, and focus on 19th century Irish social history, particularly the themes of education, health, famine, poverty, business and communications.


Released: February 2013

We are delighted to announce that UCDscholarcast is now also available through the UCD Digital Library.

UCDscholarcast ( is a Digital Humanities project dedicated to the dissemination of academic research in the field of Irish Studies and adjacent disciplines through podcasting. These commissioned podcasts are by leading scholars, writers and artists, and are aimed at a wide academic audience of scholars, graduate students, undergraduates and interested members of the public. Completely open access, the objective is to broaden the impact of academic scholarship.

Each Scholarcast is accompanied by a downloadable PDF transcript to facilitate citation in written academic work.

To date UCDscholarcast has produced academic podcasts in the following subject areas: literature, history, music, archaeology, popular culture, film, media studies, classics. A series on Irish memory studies is being recorded at present and will be available for download in the coming months. UCDscholarcast is directed by Dr P.J. Mathews of the School of English, Drama and Film.

UCDscholarcast will benefit from UCD Library's strategic plan to facilitate and implement the preservation of UCD's cultural heritage digital assets, through the UCD Digital Library.

Map files from the Ancient World Mapping Center

Released: January 2013
map thumbnail

Selected map files from the Ancient World Mapping Center are now available for download in Shapefile format from the UCD Digital Library. Made availabe by the AWMC under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) licence, these maps provide layers representing ancient road networks, aqueducts, bodies of water, and coastline geography of the ancient civilized world, generally following the Barrington Atlas. These data can also be accessed via a geospatial data API for integration with UCD research or web mapping applications; please contact for further information.

New Web Mapping Framework

Update: January 2013
map thumbnail

Many resources in the UCD Digital Library have a geographic dimension - they capture images from places, provide location-specific information collected by ethnographers, identify where manuscripts were written or books/pamphlets published, or they may even provide maps of Irish places. UCD Library's data curators are geocoding many such references, and providing links to pertinent external sources where additional information is available, such as and OpenStreetMap.

The UCD Digital Library has implemented a new mapping framework to better expose this geospatial information to its users.

This framework provides new tools for finding resources by geospatial criteria: it makes use of the geospatial indexing capabilities of its search engine, Solr, and extends search capacity through the integration of a more specialised PostGIS-enabled database, hosted in the cloud by CartoDB.

It also provides an elegant new means of visualising georeferenced information on a map, using LeafletJS, a JavaScript library for map visualisation, and map tiles from MapBox, CloudMade, Thunderforest, and others.

Links to maps appear in the left "View" menu when geocoded information is displayed; the View menu may also provide links to launch searches for items in proximity to the item you are currently viewing.

This resource provides a starting point for interacting with the new mapping framework: a photo from Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park.

Maps display the location of individual items and the locations of items in a spatial search result. In many cases, however, maps also provide context through display of pertinent geographic boundaries (counties, towns and cities, and even traditional geopolitical boundaries such as baronies, civil parishes and townlands).

These enhancements improve user experience but also lay the foundation for additional geospatial data and information services planned for the UCD Digital Library, such as the display of georectified historic maps.

The Irish Nursing Journals Collection

Released: November 2012
nursing thumbnail

We are delighted to announce that The Irish Nursing Journals Collection was officially launched on November 15, 2012 by Dr Martin McNamara (Dean and Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems) and Professor Gerard Fealy, director of the UCD Irish Centre for Nursing and Midwifery History, with an address by the INMO PhD Scholar, Mark Loughrey. The event also marked the naming of two nursing lecture theatres, in homour of Catherine McAuley and Mary Aikenhead.

This project digitised a historic nursing and midwifery journal, from 1925 to 1971, which was originally published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) for its members. The INMO have part-funded this project, along with co-funders IRCHSS.

The journal is an amazing insight into the changing professional and social lives of nurses and midwives, over a span of 46 years. Filled with medical and academic articles, literature reviews, education information for student nurses and midwives, and critical union updates, the journal also has a very social aspect. It includes society news, personal anecdotes, photographs of INMO members, and relevant product advertisements.

This collection will appeal, not only to those in the professions of nursing and midwifery, but also to anyone interested in social and women's history, trends in print advertisments, and the customs and folklore of Ireland.

October 2012

PASIG Conference (Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group).
Event Dates: Dublin, October 17-19th 2012

UCD Library is delighted to announce that the PASIG (Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group) annual conference will be held in Dublin this year, thanks to Dr. John Howard, UCD Librarian.

Topics being covered include: cloud-based services for local preservation needs in storage, computing and services; Strategies & Approaches for Digital Preservation and Archiving; review of storage technology and industry trends (focus on unique needs of digital preservation and archiving); services-oriented architecture work, and use cases etc

This international conference provides a great opportunity to hear about new developments, share practical experiences, and develop new collaborations.

More information about PASIG at

Registration at:

For more information about this conference, please contact Ursula Byrne at

August 2012

Research Repository UCD: live and integrated with RMS
Update: August 2012

As well as an improved interface, Research Repository UCD (formerly known as the UCD Institutional Repository) is now integrated with the Research Management System (RMS). When researchers update their publication lists on their RMS user profiles, they can also upload the full text of their publications to showcase UCD research locally, nationally and internationally. More information is available at: Research Repository UCD

July 2012

Relocating the IVRLA Collections
Update: July 2012

IVRLA servers have been decommissioned and all IVRLA content can now be found in the UCD Digital Library. A programme of publicity events for the UCD Digital Library are being planned for the Autumn; details will be announced as they become available.

A new home for the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA)
Update: July 2012

ISSDA has made the move from UCD Geary Institute to UCD Library. ISSDA is Ireland's leading centre for quantitative data acquisition, preservation, and dissemination, and can be found at