Beautiful sketches, designs and photographs from the famed Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection held in archive in the Library of Trinity College Dublin are now freely available online as part of a major national open digital repository for Ireland's social and cultural data.
The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), which was launched by Damien English, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation on June 25th, contains tens of thousands of high quality, metadata-rich digital objects, including video clips, photographs, digitised manuscripts, oral histories, sound recordings, digitised paintings and museum objects, books and letters. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central online access point and interactive multimedia tools. DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars.
The repository is the result of nearly four years of research, software development, policy and legal framework design, and data curation by digital archivists and librarians. Trinity College Dublin has been a key partner in DRI, contributing technical, archiving, metadata and legal expertise to the project. Other partners in the consortium are the Royal Irish Academy (lead institute), Maynooth University, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Galway, and National College of Art and Design.
The repository features beautiful and moving collections, including those from five demonstrator projects – the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Archive, Letters of 1916, Irish Lifetimes, Kilkenny Design Workshops, Saol Agus Saothar Sa Ghaeltacht, and the Teresa Deevy Archive. The repository also contains the award-winning Inspiring Ireland collections, featuring content from eight of Ireland’s National Cultural Institutions, and rich collections of multi-media content from our partners Raidió Teilifís Éireann and the Contemporary Music Centre.
The Clarke Stained Glass Studio Archive held by the Library of Trinity College Dublin sheds light on the design and business practice of one of the leading creative businesses of the 20th century, which operated from 1893 until 1973 and was responsible for hundreds of stained glass windows for churches all over Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, several African countries, Singapore, and the Philippines.
With the support of the Digital Repository of Ireland project funding, the Library of Trinity College Dublin is currently undertaking a two-year digitisation project which will make thousands of sketches, designs, order books, photographs and business correspondence from this collection available online to researchers, art historians and the public. This work is being carried out by Dr Marta Bustillo, Assistant Librarian, and Joanne Carroll, Digital Photographer of the Digital Resources and Imaging Services Department in the Library.
Dermot Frost, Principal Investigator for DRI in Trinity with responsibility for the technical delivery of the repository said: “Building DRI has been both exciting and challenging. The team in Research IT, along with our partners, have built a scalable and robust digital repository for humanities and social sciences data using best-of-breed open source software components such as Fedora Commons, Hydra and Ceph.”
Helen Shenton, College Librarian and Archivist added, “Through our involvement in DRI, the Library has been able to unearth the treasures of the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Archive. The high resolution imaging of the business archives and designs for stained glass windows will be a vital resource to future researchers and the wider public”.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Sandra Collins, Director of DRI, invited everyone to visit DRI online: “DRI offers exciting historical, cultural and contemporary content that tells the story of Ireland and its people. The content comes from some of the finest institutions across Ireland, and is available without charge for people to view and to enjoy. Some of the collections we care for are restricted by copyright or the sensitive nature of the data, but researchers can request access. We are an open repository, and we want people to explore and enjoy their cultural and social heritage”.
Image: Colour design for House of Gold and Spiritual Vessel, by Terence Clarke, Board of Trinity College Dublin