News & Media Centre

Community Archive Network Launch

An innovative community-based initiative will be launched on Friday 11 November ’11 in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.  

The Community Archive Network Launch will showcase the work of communities from Oughterard, Co. Galway, Ballinrobe and Louisburgh/Killeen, Co. Mayo who have been working with the Museum’s Education & Outreach Department since 2009. In conjunction with this community project, the Museum of Country Life has developed a website www.ouririshheritage.orgLinks to external website  which will also be launched. The official launch will be performed by Tommy Graham, Editor, History Ireland.

The participating groups have collected, preserved and made accessible their local histories online. Each group has developed a website designed to encourage active participation from a global audience.

The ultimate aim of the project was to engage communities, in an exciting and innovative way, with the National Museum and its collections. The volunteers from each community have gathered their communities’ family photographs, memories and other ephemera, and through extensive training, have learned how to digitise and upload these unique collections to a website that they have developed themselves.

By creating a Community Archive website this information is digitally saved for posterity. Each site is regularly updated to enable people with links to each locality to contribute their own information for inclusion on the community website. The groups have joined together to form a Network of sites so they can share knowledge, skills and resources and cross-promote their websites.

Oughterard was 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 www.oughterardheritage.orgLinks 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 www.historicalballinrobe.comLinks to external website  . The Louisburg-Killeen website went live recently and will continue to expand its archive www.louisburgh-killeenheritage.orgLinks to external website  

Our Irish Heritage will feature articles from across the community sites and will provide information and advice on creating a Community Archive. Anyone with an interest in their local heritage will have an opportunity to contribute to this website which, it is hoped, will eventually reflect the local history of the island of Ireland. Groups and organisations that would like to promote cultural and heritage events on this website should contact the Education & Outreach Department in the Museum of Country Life. (details below).


For further information please contact:

• Bernie Byron, Marketing Executive, National Museum of Ireland - Country Life. Tel: (094) 903 1773; Mob: (087) 798 7439; email:  

• Lorna Elms, Education & Outreach Dept., National Museum of Ireland - Country Life. Tel: (094) 903 1751; email:  

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