30 March 2011 - Deputy Seán Sherlock, Minister of State for Research and Innovation, today launched discovery.dho.ie, a website to find and explore Irish cultural artefacts online. Pictured: Seán Sherlock, TD, Professor Luke Drury, President of the Royal Irish Academy and Shawn Day, DHO Project Manager. Speaking at the launch, Minister Sherlock said ‘The DHO:Discovery website is yet another innovative project developed by the Royal Irish Academy in cooperation with higher education and cultural institution partners as it seeks to promote excellence in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. The new website will give users access to over 6,000 digital artefacts from a range of world class collections held here on the island of Ireland. This project illustrates how we have combined innovation and technology to provide Ireland with a world class platform that provides outreach and education on our rich cultural heritage.’
DHO:Discovery currently draws together digital objects from collections at Chester Beatty Library, Irish Traditional Music Archive, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Royal Irish Academy (RIA), St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (SPCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD) and University College Cork (UCC).
DHO:Discovery | DHO:Fionnachtain allows users to discover images of art, music and voice recordings, letters, maps, drawings and more, from collections at higher education and cultural institutions. The website acts as a gateway to resources that were not previously linked by offering a single place from which disparate collections can be searched and browsed. In doing so, DHO:Discovery supports the sharing and creation of new knowledge.
Luke Drury, President of the Royal Irish Academy said 'I am delighted to be a part of this initiative, both as President of the Royal Irish Academy and as National Coordinator for e-INIS. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of e-infrastructures for research in all areas. The convergence of Digital Humanities with Sciences make collaborative initiatives such as DHO:Discovery and looking to the future, the National Audio Visual Repository (NAVR), possible.'
DHO:Discovery allows users to browse and search digital collections using descriptive text, or ‘keywords’, and discover related knowledge serendipitously; it has been designed with the user in mind, allowing for various ways to experience rich collections within a single portal, or ‘website’.
Shawn Day, DHO Project Manager, added that ‘this is just the first step for DHO:Discovery. Users drive content and knowledge creation in the digital world. DHO:Discovery allows users to combine diverse Irish historical and cultural collections in ways never before imagined. Every user creates their own experience by combining records and information in unique ways and the DHO welcomes their input and feedback. This resource will be of great interest to those passionate about Ireland and it's rich heritage.’
DHO:Discovery launches following two years of development. The website is consistently developing, evolving, improving and taking user feedback into account. The DHO looks forward to welcoming the inclusion of new and exciting Irish digital collections as this new web venture expands and grows.
This initiative was developed with the support of DHO partners, including those from the HSIS consortium, Irish cultural institutions and Ireland’s High Performance Computing Centre (iCHEC).