The History Lab: New resource for students seeking to use online resources

The History Lab aims to support and encourage student engagement with online primary and secondary sources.

The History Lab aims:

  • To provide access & encourage the use of digital primary sources
  • To develop advanced research skills that teach students to read and think about these sources in meaningful ways
  • To teach students how to think like a historian i.e how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading using digital documentary evidence
  • To encourage inquiry based learning

Over the past twenty-five years, millions of primary sources have been digitised by libraries and archives and made available online. (Malkmus, 2008) From an Irish context, in the lead up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising, there has been a major drive to survey and digitise relevant archival material. These digitisation projects share a common ideal to make Ireland’s heritage widely available to everyone and to enrich the historical narrative.  The Decade of Centenaries has contributed archival developments such as the digitisation of the Bureau of Military History Military Service Pensions Collection, and the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Other projects such as the Google virtual tour “Dublin Rising 1916-2016 Virtual Tour” a unique digital primary source project demonstrate scale and scope of online primary sources available to history learners.

History is the study and interpretation of the past, and engaging with primary sources is central to the development of authentic critical historical thinking. (Wineburg, 1999) Since the 1970s, millions of primary sources have been digitised by libraries and archives which has created a wealth of rich content for historians and history students. However the sheer scale of sources material, websites and questions about source quality make it a challenging research environment for history students. (Tally & Goldenberg, 2005)

Our solution to this was to create “The History Lab” Digital Research Skills resource to support and scaffold the learners’ engagement with digital primary sources.

Available at:

cfp. The fourth Irish conference on the History of Mathematics (IHoM4), 9 June 2017

The fourth Irish conference on the History of Mathematics (IHoM4) will be held in the Edward Worth Library, Dublin, on Friday 9 June 2017.

The themes of the conference will be:

Significant people in the History of Mathematics
Using original sources in History of Mathematics
History of Mathematics as revealed in significant books
History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education
History of Mathematics Education
General topics from the History of Mathematics

It will be of particular interest to situate any of these themes in an Irish context.

Abstracts (of no more than 150 words) are invited for presentation at IHoM4, on or before 7th May. It is envisaged that each presentation will be allocated 40 minutes (including 10 minutes for questions). The programme for IHoM4 will be posted here.

Organizing committee:

Dr Maurice OReilly (chair), Dublin City University
Dr Elizabethanne Boran, Edward Worth Library
Professor Roderick Gow, University College Dublin
Dr Ciarán Mac an Bhaird, Maynooth University
Dr Mark McCartney, University of Ulster
For further information contact maurice.oreilly[AT] (with IHoM4 in the subject field).

cfp. History of Science, Technology and Medicine Network Ireland, 13 & 14 Oct. 2017


The History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM) Network Ireland in association with the RDS Library and Archives will hold its annual conference on 13 and 14 Oct. 2017. The Network welcomes abstracts for twenty-minute papers on all aspects of HSTM. Closing date for proposals is 26 May 2017.

Full details can be found on the Network website: 

Also, please see flyer here:HSTM Call for Papers 2017

Kevin B. Nowlan Castletown Bursary 2017


To celebrate Professor Kevin B. Nowlan’s longstanding service, the Castletown Foundation will launch, in 2017, a bursary of €2000 to any student working on the history, architecture, collections and estate of Castletown House. Students must be registered and can use the money to pay for fees or research. Applications must be received by 5pm, Friday 26 May 2017.

Further details and an application form can be obtained from Alison Fitzgerald at



Irish History Online Bibliography upgrade

Irish History Online (IHO) is a comprehensive online bibliography of Irish history. It lists and indexes writings on Irish history published since the 1930s. IHO has been available online since 2004. It includes bibliographic information on books and pamphlets, articles from journals published in Ireland or internationally, and chapters from books of essays, including Festschriften and conference proceedings.

Entries for new material published in 2016 and 2017 are currently being added to the database.

The Irish History Online search screens have recently been upgraded, with enhanced search capabilities. The initial search screen allows keyword searching across the full Irish History Online database. An advanced search facility is available for more specific searches.

Irish History Online is professionally compiled by a team of voluntary editors and compilers, and is hosted and managed by the Royal Irish Academy Library (Dublin). It receives support from the Irish Committee of Historical Sciences and from Irish Historical Studies. It is an essential resource for the study of Irish history at any level, and is free of charge to users.

Contact IHO at