The Irish Community Archive Network

Websites developed by communities and dedicated to showcasing the local history of Ireland.

Click on the images below to visit the websites in the Network:

Click to visit www.oughterardheritage.orgLinks to external website
Click to visit www.historicalballinrobe.comLinks to external website
Click to visit www.louisburgh-killeenheritage.orgLinks to external website
Click to visit www.ouririshheritage.orgLinks to external website

Since 2009 the Education & Outreach Department has been working with community groups to collect, preserve and make accessible their local histories online. Each group has developed a website designed to encourage active participation from people across the world that have links to their area.

What does this project involve?

The aim of the project was to engage communities, in an exciting and innovative way, with the National Museum and its collections.

Volunteers from each group have gathered their communities’ family photographs, memories and other ephemera. With the help of training and mentoring they have digitised and uploaded these unique collections to a website that they have developed themselves.

Capture it before it disappears...

By creating a Community Archive historical information is digitally saved for posterity. In most cases the original images and documents are returned to their owners. Anyone can access this information and people with links to the locality are encouraged to take an active part by contributing their own information.

The groups have joined together to form a Network of sites so they can share knowledge, skills and resources and cross-promote their websites.

The Network is launched!

The Irish Community Archive Network was officially launched at Turlough Park on 11th November. Pictured L to R: Mary O'Malley, Louisburgh-Killeen Heritage Group, David Collins, Oughterard Culture & Heritage Group, Averil Staunton, Ballinrobe Archaeological & Historical Society & Tommy Graham ed. 'History Ireland, who spoke at the launch.

Our Irish Heritage - Home of the Irish Community Archive Network

www.ouririshheritage.orgLinks to external website has been developed by the Education & Outreach Department as the home site of the Irish Community Archive Network This website features articles from across the member sites, encourages web traffic to the archives and provides information and advice for groups interested in creating their own Community Archive.

In a similar way to the member sites, Our Irish Heritage encourages people from across the island of Ireland to share memories, stories, photographs and information about their local area. This website allows people and groups who don’t have the resources for their own website to still contribute information on what makes their area special.

Our Irish heritage has an Events section, which features different ways for people to get involved in heritage & culture whilst raising awareness of the wealth of events taking place across the country.

Groups and organisations that would like to promote cultural and heritage events on this website can submit their events information via the Events FormLinks to external website

The importance of volunteers

The work of the volunteers has made this project a success. The Museum would like to thank everyone involved, especially David Collins, Averil Staunton and Mark Reed who have travelled regularly to the Museum and have acted as liaisons for their groups.

We would encourage more people from these localities to get involved in this very worthwhile, interesting and exciting project.

Plans for the Future

Oughterard is the first of the groups to digitally catalogue their collection of many thousands of items. Work on this will continue for the foreseeable future. You can view the catalogue via to external website

Ballinrobe continues to blaze a trail with the use of new media technology such as heritage maps and trails downloadable to your smart phone.

The Louisburgh-Killeen website went live recently and they will continue to work to expand their archive.

All the groups will be engaging with their local schools in the coming year and hope to bring on board new volunteers.

The Groups

The Oughterard Culture and Heritage Group was formed four years ago to collect, archive and share our local history. With the backing of the local community we are now one of the leading groups in the country that are digitally sharing our heritage.

A small group of people with an interest in the history of Ballinrobe, its neighbouring towns and townlands, founded the Ballinrobe Archaeological & Historical Society in 2009. We aim to try and salvage the flood of information that is being lost every day, week or year by creating a digital archive for the community, our friends, visitors, Diaspora, researchers and future generations.

Louisburgh-Killeen Heritage Group are a small group of volunteers who came together in 2011 to record and preserve the history and heritage of the area. In partnership with the National Museum of Ireland-Country Life we maintain an open access website and encourage contributions from all. Most of the information has been contributed by ordinary folk who have an interest, be it past or present, in the community and its people.

 I'd like to do something in my area...

Visit www.ouririshheritage.orgLinks to external website for more information on creating your own Community Archive or ways to contribute information on your local area.

Or you can Contact us to find out how we can help you.

Most Innovative Community Archive Award
The UK-based Community Archives Heritage Group has chosen the Oughterard Culture and Heritage Centre for “The Most Innovative Community Archive” Award. Read more...
Congratulations to the Oughterard Culture & Heritage Group
Recent runners-up in the Galway County Heritage Awards, read more: Museum commends Oughterard Group National Museum commends Oughterard Group 21 March 12.pdf (0.19 MB, Adobe PDF) 
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