Thursday, 17th November 2016
Explore Your Archive campaign invites public to discover treasures held in national and local collections
The Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARAI) has today (17.11.16) launched its fourth annual Explore Your Archive week, a campaign to increase awareness of the essential role of archives in society.
Run jointly with the Archives and Records Association in the UK, archives services will open their vaults and display hundreds of unique collection items from Saturday, 19th November to Sunday, 27th November 2016.
The campaign seeks to encourage people to discover the stories, facts, places and the people that are at the heart of Ireland’s communities. Organisations participating in Explore Your Archive include business, university, state, military and specialist archives, both north and south of the border.
As part of the campaign, archivists, record managers and conservators will host talks, workshops, exhibitions and tours of their collections. A focus of this year’s campaign will be the growing importance of online archiving and the digitisation of valuable collections. As such, a number of participating archives will introduce recently digitised collections and ‘story boxes’, small online exhibitions on particular topics highlighting what researchers can discover in Ireland’s archives.
Events taking place during Explore Your Archive 2016 include:
Felix Meehan, Outreach Officer, Archives and Records Association, Ireland, said: “The Explore Your Archive campaign aims to shine a light on the dedicated work of archivists contributing to the collection, storage and maintenance of an astonishing wealth of historical records, and to entice members of the public to visit their archives and explore these rich collections. From letters, reports, minutes, registers and maps to photographs, films, sound recordings and digital files and websites, Ireland’s archives hold something of interest and inspiration to everyone.
“As part of this year’s campaign, we want to emphasise, in particular, the growing importance of the digitisation of records and the harvesting of information published online. Our lives are increasingly spent online and it is therefore important to reflect this in the approach to preserving our cultural heritage and making it widely accessible.
“Many engaging online exhibitions and digitised collections are being launched as part of Explore Your Archive this year by a range of participants, including the Irish Traditional Music Archive, the IFI Irish Film Archive, Cork City and County Archives and many more. Additionally, the National Library of Ireland will host a talk outlining how it is capturing, preserving and making available the websites that tell the story of the 2016 commemorations for future generations.”
Ambassador for the Explore Your Archive 2016 campaign, Catherine Murphy TD commented: “Ireland is home to many archival organisations which hold a vast variety of highly interesting collections. These collections are a real treasure trove for everybody looking to find out about national and local history and offer invaluable glimpses into the stories of the past.
“All materials stored in our public archives belong to the people of Ireland and are freely available for consultation by all. By its very nature, archiving and record-keeping are important ongoing tasks and crucial for the preservation of our rich national heritage. It is essential that records are adequately stored and maintained to ensure access for future generations. I encourage everybody to explore and use the archival resources available to them and be taken on a journey of discovery.”
More information on the Explore Your Archive 2016 campaign and full details on all events are available at www.learnaboutarchives.ie; on Twitter: @archivesireland, #ExploreArchives; or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ARAIreland.
Contact: Sebastian Enke / Laura Harmon, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-3239496 / 086-1738455
Notes to Editors
About Archives and Records Association UK & Ireland
The Archives and Records Association is the lead professional body for archivists, archive conservators and records managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It aims to support its membership through training, continued professional development, identification of employment opportunities, professional help and advice, and by providing a community to which the membership can belong and from which they draw benefit through open discussion and debate, as well as through gathering of information and advice. Through its members the ARA is committed to working for high standards in the provision of and care of archives and effective management of record systems including the retrieval of information from them. For more information visit: www.archives.org.uk.