Wednesday 27 November 2019

Check out ARA Ireland's Explore Your Archive week

Today marks the middle of Explore Your Archive Week for the Archives and Records Association (ARA), Ireland, the principal professional body for archivists, archive conservators and records managers in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. addition to a brand new website at, where you'll find 'featured' collections from Tipperary Studies, RTE Archives and Loreto Archives, ARA Ireland members have organised some events to showcase their collections and demonstrate more of what archivists and librarians get up to at work.

For example, Donegal Archives has three month-long travelling exhibitions – the Traditional Boats of Ireland (The Dónal Mac Polin Collection); A Trek Throough Time: images from the county archives; and Celebrating 120 Years of the History of Irish Local Government, while Derry Genealogy and Heritage centre is holding two Open Afternoons of talks and consultations.

Social media has been a major player in the Explore Your Archives campaign, and I've noticed high levels of activity and engagement on twitter (the only sm outlet I use). A series of themed hashtags were decided in advance (see image above right), so that archivists could prepare and present their own unique take of the day's hashtag term using twitter, facebook, instagram etc.

Some of those I've seen across my twitter feed have taken an amusing or unexpected twist on the day's 'tag term' or have revealed some very strange and unusual items among their archives. It's really been quite enlightening.

To join in the fun, and find out more about the fabulously diverse range of archive collections available across Ireland, search your preferred social media using any of the tags listed. It doesn't matter if the official day for that tag has passed... a search with a hashtag should still find the posts.