Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

The Team

Meet our dynamic research team. We have expertise in History from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, Digital Humanities, Computer Science, Archival Science, and Conservation.

Research Team

    specialities
Dr Peter Crooks

Academic Director of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

ADAPT and Department of History (Trinity College Dublin)

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Peter Crooks is Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Medieval History in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin. He is a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Peter is Founding Director of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland. Together with his colleague Dr Séamus Lawless, Peter was awarded competitive research funding in 2016 by the Irish Research Council to establish ‘Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury’. Between 2018 and 2019, Peter was Academic Coordinator of the Trinity Long Room Hub’s Multiannual Lecture Series entitled, ‘Out of the Ashes: Collective Memory, Cultural Loss and Recovery’.

His primary research interest is in Ireland in the period 1171-1541 and, arising from that, in the wider ‘English world’ or ‘Plantagenet empire’ of which Ireland formed an integral part. Before returning to Trinity in 2013, he was a Past and Present Society Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research and a Lecturer in Late Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. He has published widely on Irish and British medieval Irish history and is editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of Britain, vol. 2: 1100–1500.

Peter has been active in Digital Humanities and archival collaborations for the past 15 years, notably delivering the CIRCLE project in 2012, a reconstruction of Irish chancery letters destroyed in 1922.

Dr Ciarán Wallace

Keeper of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland | Public Engagement Lead

Public Engagement Lead Beyond 2022

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Ciarán Wallace is Deputy Director of Beyond 2022. He completed his PhD on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century municipal politics in Dublin at Trinity College Dublin (2010), where he subsequently held a Government of Ireland Post-doctoral Fellowship. He was a co-designer of Trinity’s inaugural Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) ‘Irish Lives in War and Rebellion: 1912-1923’. Having lectured in Modern Irish History at Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and Liverpool John Moore’s University Ciarán returned to Dublin to take up a post in the initial scoping phase for Beyond 2022.

He has worked on significant Digital Humanities projects including the EU-funded CULTURA consortium, the 1641 Depositions Project and the Down Survey Project. Since 2016 Ciarán has collaborated with partners in the National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives (UK), Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Irish Manuscripts Commission and the Library, Trinity College Dublin, coordinating archival and historical research.

Ciarán’s publications include ‘Civil society in search of a state: Dublin 1898–1922’ Urban History, Volume 45, Issue 3, August 2018 , pp. 426-452. ‘Curry, J., Wallace C., (2015) Thomas Fitzpatrick and the Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly 1905-1915 and Griffith L.M., Wallace, C. (eds) (2016) Grave Matters: death and dying in Dublin 1500 to the present. Wallace, C., Gallagher, S. E., (2016) ‘A Far Cry from School History: Massive Online Open Courses as a Generative Source for Historical Research.’ The International Review of Open and Distributed Learning, 17 (5) 2016.

He is a convenor of the Dublin History Research Network.

Theo Little

Programme Manager

ADAPT

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Within the ADAPT Centre, Theo’s main focus is the project manager of Beyond 2022, the digital recreation of the Public Record Office of Ireland. The roll involves the organisation and integration of a diverse and complex range of components and teams.

He works with two diverse yet equally important groups of specialists. There is the archival discovery team who  to identify, assess, digitally capture and integrate diverse historical documents. Then there is the technical team who he collaborates with on the delivery of a range of components that includes knowledge management, linked data, database development, Virtual Reality design and development and front-end web development.

Professor Declan O’Sullivan

ADAPT and School of Computer Science and Statistics (Trinity College Dublin)

ADAPT and School of Computer Science and Statistics (Trinity College Dublin)

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Dr Éamonn Kenny

Senior Technical Architect, VRTI

Trinity College Dublin

Dr Lynn Kilgallon

Medieval Gold Seam Research Fellow

Department of History (Trinity College Dublin)

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Lynn Kilgallon is one of two research fellows working on Beyond 2022’s Medieval Exchequer Gold Seam, which will create a digital edition of the financial records produced by the medieval English administration in Ireland and now held principally in The National Archives (UK). She completed her doctorate at Trinity College Dublin in 2019, and has since worked on historical research projects based at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.

Lynn is a comparative historian of late medieval Ireland and Britain; her primary research interests concern the exercise of government power and authority in the medieval world, particularly with respect to parliamentary culture and political thought. Another set of research interests concern the application of digital humanities technologies to historical record sources, and Lynn has worked with Beyond 2022’s computer science team in ADAPT as Humanities Lead to develop the Knowledge Graph for Irish History.

Dr Sarah Hendriks

Archival Discovery Research Fellow

Library Network (UK/Ireland)

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Sarah is an early modern historian specialising in the socio-cultural and architectural history of Ireland and the British Isles. She has studied and worked in universities around the world including The Australian National University, The University of Oxford, The University of Cambridge, and The University of Edinburgh. Following studies in Classics, Music (Violin), Papyrology, and Building History she graduated with a PhD in Architectural History in 2019.

The utilization of digital techniques has long been a feature of Sarah’s research. She first developed an interest in digital humanities whilst working on the Herculaneum Papyri at the Centro Internazionale Studio dei Papyri Ercolanesi in Naples, Italy. There, she was amongst the first to use 3D imaging to analyse the papyri and using this technique identified a previously unknown Classical Latin text. In her current research, Sarah explores historical mapping of entities and networks, and is investigating the potential of GIS to visualize changes in the historic environment during the early modern period.

Dr Paul Dryburgh

Principal Records Specialist (Medieval) | VRTI Co-Investigator on Medieval Exchequer Gold Seam

The National Archives (UK)

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Paul Dryburgh is Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives (UK) where he specialises in medieval records. A qualified archivist, his research interests lie in government, economy, politics and warfare in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, more particularly the reign of Edward II. He has published guides to the sources for medieval Ireland at The National Archives and to Irish inquisitions post mortem.

From 2005-11 Paul was Research Fellow at on the AHRC-funded Henry III Fine Rolls Project, producing a digital edition of those records on which are recorded offers of money or in kind for the king’s favour.

From 2011-14 Paul worked as access archivist and medieval records specialist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York, where he developed a pilot project to digitise and index digitally the registers of the medieval and early modern archbishops of York. Paul is currently Co-Investigator of an AHRC-funded research project, ‘The Northern Way: Archbishops of York and Northern Identity, 1304-1405’ (PI: Prof. Sarah Rees Jones).

Paul is Joint General Editor of the Pipe Roll Society, Honorary Secretary of the Lincoln Record Society, President of the Mortimer History Society and trustee of the British Association for Local History and the Canterbury and York Society. He is also Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Publications:
Books/Editions

  • Calendar of the Fine Rolls of the Reign of Henry III, eds. Paul Dryburgh & Beth Hartland, technical eds. Arianna Ciula, Tamara Lopez & Jose Miguel Vieira: I: 1216-1224 (Woodbridge, 2007); II: 1224-1234 (Woodbridge, 2008); III: 1234-1242 (Woodbridge, 2009). Calendars for the rolls of the whole reign, 1216-1272, available online at: http://www.frh3.org.uk/home.html.
  • Inquisitions and Extents of Medieval Ireland, ed. Paul Dryburgh and Brendan Smith (Kew: List & Index Society 320, 2007)Articles
  • Paul Dryburgh, ‘“The Mortimer has taken great pains to save and keep the peace”: crown, city and community during the Bruce invasion and its aftermath’, in Medieval Dublin XIX, ed. S. Duffy (Dublin, 2019), 222-36
  • Paul Dryburgh, ‘Tout and the Middle Party’, in Thomas Frederick Tout (1855–1929): refashioning history for the twentieth century, ed. C.M. Barron & J.T. Rosenthal (London: Institute for Historical Research, 2019), 137-52
  • Paul Dryburgh, ‘Living in the Shadows: John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall (1316-1336)’, Fourteenth Century England IX, ed. Gwilym Dodd and James Bothwell (Woodbridge, 2016), 23-48
  • Paul Dryburgh, ‘Ireland and the IPMs’, The Later Medieval Inquisitions Post Mortem: Mapping the Medieval Countryside and Rural Society, ed. Michael Hicks (Woodbridge, 2016), 24-48

Dr Elizabeth Biggs

Medieval Gold Seam Research Fellow

The National Archives (UK)

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Elizabeth Biggs is the medieval research fellow based at The National Archives (UK), responsible for the translations of the records of the medieval exchequer and the Irish Kings and English Rulers collection for the Cultures of Conquest research strand. Her current research looks at women’s engagement with government across the Plantagenet world of Ireland, England, France and Wales in the later middle ages.

Elizabeth completed her doctorate in 2016 at the University of York, where she was part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council project, St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster: Visual and Political Culture, 1292-1941, which produced a digital model of the first permanent UK House of Commons, new webpages about Parliament’s history and digital acoustic modelling of what it sounded like to be in the early modern Commons. Her doctorate looked at the two centuries when St Stephen’s Chapel was a religious institution from 1348 to 1548, exploring how visitors saw the chapel, what happened there and what its relationship was to royal administration in the palace that surrounded it.

She then took elements of that research forward in two different directions. As a research fellow at Durham University from 2017-18, she explored the survival of Durham Cathedral Library and what it can tell us about the theology of the Reformation. Elizabeth returned to York in 2018 to work on a follow-on project to St Stephen’s, on the surviving physical fabric of St Stephen’s within the current Houses of Parliament in London, where she is a research advisor. She taught at the University of the West of England from 2018 to 2020, before joining the project in August 2020.

Dr Neil Johnston

Head of Early Modern Records | VRTI Co-Investigator on INSPIRE (Research Strand 3)

The National Archives (UK)

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Neil Johnston is Principal Record Specialist (Early Modern Britain and Ireland) at The National Archives, UK. A historian by training, his research examines the governance of seventeenth-century Ireland, in particular the political, financial, legal and constitutional aspects of how the crown ruled Ireland in the early modern period. He joined The National Archives in 2016, having previously taught at University College Dublin, where he was awarded his PhD.

Neil’s doctoral research considered how Charles II’s government devised and imposed a royal policy on Ireland after the fall of the Cromwellian Protectorate and he is expanding this into a monograph that examines how Ireland was governed in the decade after the restoration of Charles II. This book is a precursor to a larger project that examines state formation in seventeenth century Ireland and reassesses the various ways that the state expanded across the island and consolidated its precarious position in Ireland between the ascension of James I in 1603 and the death of William III in 1702.
Between 2016-2018 he served on Beyond 2022’s advisory board. Neil is a co-founder and secretary of Tudor and Stuart Ireland. He was also a Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Digital Culture, Media & Sport, Whitehall.

Publications:

N. Johnston, ‘Charles II’s legal officers and the Irish Restoration settlement’, in Law and the Revolution in Seventeenth-Century Ireland, ed. C. Dennehy (Dublin, 2019).

Simon Neal

INSPIRE Research Assistant (Research Strand 3)

The National Archives UK

Dr Timothy Murtagh

Archival Discovery Research Fellow

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Tim Murtagh completed his PhD in TCD in 2015. He was subsequently a consultant to the No 14 Henrietta Street Museum in Dublin. A book based on his work there was published in 2023 by Four Courts Press, entitled Spectral Mansions: the making of a Dublin Tenement 1800-1914.

He has also recently published Irish Artisans and Radical Politics, 1776-1820 (Liverpool University Press, 2023), a study of working-class radicalism in the late Georgian period. Since 2020 he has been a research fellow with the Virtual Record Treasury, based in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. In the current phase of the Virtual Treasury, Tim is the primary researcher on the research strand concerning the reconstruction of the records of the Irish Chief Secretary’s Office c.1760-1830.

Dr Brian Gurrin

Research Fellow in Census and Population Records

Department of History (Trinity College Dublin)

Professor Micheál Ó Siochrú

Department of History

Trinity College Dublin

Dr David Brown

Researcher

Department of History, Trinity College Dublin

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David Brown is Archival Discovery lead for Beyond 2022. His monograph, Empire and Enterprise: Money, power and the Adventure for Irish land, 1642-1660, will be published by Manchester University Press in 2022. He previously worked on the Down Survey of Ireland project, under Micheál Ó Siochrú, and is co-editor of a five volume scholarly edition of the Books of Survey and Distribution for the Irish Manuscripts Commission. He has been involved in the digitisation of archives for almost thirty years and also acts as the liaison between Beyond 2022 and the READ co-operative in Innsbruck.

Dr Bríd McGrath

Associated Researcher

Department of History (Trinity College Dublin)

Dr Joel Herman

VRTI Research Assistant, Houses of Parliament

Trinity College Dublin

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Joel Herman recently completed his PhD at Trinity College Dublin. His dissertation entitled, ‘Revolutionary Currents: Newspapers, Publicity, and the Imperial Public Sphere’, charted the revolutionary currents that flowed between Ireland, America, and Britain in the Age of Revolutions. He has previously published on the subjects of politics, patriotism, and political news in eighteenth-century Ireland and early America, and is particularly interested in the transnational dimensions of revolutionary conflicts in the late eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Joel is currently working with the VRTI to recover one of the most important collections held in the Public Record Office of Ireland before the fire of 1922, the Irish Parliamentary Records.

Jean-Philippe SanGiovanni

Project Officer: Data Administration & Public Engagement

VRTI, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Áine Foley

Research Associate

Trinity College Dublin

Dr Patrick McDonagh

Medieval Research Associate

Trinity College Dublin

Pallavit Aggarwal

Senior Research Engineer, Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland (VRTI)

ADAPT

Dr Lucy McKenna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

ADAPT and School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Alex Randles

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

ADAPT and School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Beyza Yaman

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

ADAPT and School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin

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Beyza Yaman is a Post-doctoral Researcher and Data/Knowledge Engineer in the Virtual Treasury Project as well as in the ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests span the areas of the semantic web, data quality, geospatial data, and data matching through knowledge graphs. Before joining the ADAPT Centre, she received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Genoa (Italy) and she has worked on a number of industrial and EU-funded academic collaborations including those for Ordnance Survey Ireland, Springer Nature (UK) and DBpedia, AKSW-InfAI (Germany) as a doctoral and post-doctoral researcher.

Zoë Reid

Keeper of Public Services and Collections

National Archives (Ireland)

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Zoë Reid established the Conservation Department in 2002 in the National Archives (Ireland). She was the first conservator appointed to the office and has been responsible for safeguarding the long-term preservation of the national collection and ensuring safe public access to the archives. Throughout her time at the National Archives, Zoë has implemented a wide range of conservation and preservation projects, most recently involving documents related to the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. She was appointed to the role of Keeper of Public Services and Collections in 2022.

Zoë is an accredited conservator through the Institute of Conservators-Restorers in Ireland (ICRI) and has been an active member of the Board taking on a range of roles including Vice-Chair. Zoë represents Ireland at the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and was elected to council in 2015. She is currently chair of the Irish National Committee for Blue Shield (INCBS).

Jessica Baldwin

Senior Conservator, National Archives, Ireland

1922 Salved Records National Archives of Ireland

Sarah Graham

Conservator

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Dr Gary Munnelly

Technical Architect

ADAPT and School of Computer Science and Statistics (Trinity College Dublin)

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Gary served as both the technical architect and technical lead for Beyond 2022. He became involved early in 2019 when he helped to design, implement, and deploy the complex web of technologies that enabled the historical research team to unite information from a broad range of archives and libraries, into what is now the Virtual Treasury. Over the past three years, he has been involved in most technical aspects of the project, helping to shape the digital side of this Digital Humanities effort into what it is today.

Gary has worked in Digital Humanities for 10 years. He graduated in 2012 with a degree in engineering and immediately became involved in the Cultura project, led by Professor Owen Conlan. There he helped develop tools to interrogate and analyse the 1641 Depositions, a corpus which provided a unique look into the events of the 1641 Irish Rebellion. Through Cultura, he met Professor Séamus Lawless who would later supervise his PhD.

His thesis, which was submitted in 2019, focused on information extraction from cultural heritage texts. Specifically, Gary investigated the problem of entity linking and entity extraction from noisy text-based corpora. A primary challenge faced during this research was the lack of suitable resources which may be used to automatically link and structure cultural heritage texts in a way that is useful for the user, informative for the machine, and respectful of the integrity of historical research. He believes that this challenge has been both addressed and overcome in the form of both the immense volume of text and the budding knowledge graph of Irish history now available through the virtual treasury portal. This is both a source of delight and mild frustration for him, as his PhD would certainly have been easier had the Virtual Treasury existed five years ago.

Dr Síle McGuckian

Associated Researcher

Independent

Randolph Jones

Associated Researcher

Independent

Dr Stuart Kinsella

Associated Researcher

Christ Church Cathedral

Steven Smyrl

Associated Researcher

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Steven Smyrl has practiced as a specialist in legal and probate genealogical research for the past 30 years. He was admitted to membership of Accredited Genealogists Ireland in 1991 and sits on its governing council. He is a former president of the Association.

He is the current chairman of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, a learned society founded in 1936. He is a founding member of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO), serving twice as its chairman. In 2012 he appeared in ‘Dead Money’, a six-part RTE series based exclusively on research undertaken by his legal genealogy firm, Massey & King. Each episode told the story of searches for relatives for a person who had died intestate.

In December 2009 Steven’s extensive and groundbreaking research on the congregations and records of Dublin’s Protestant dissenters was published by A&A Farmar under the title Dictionary of Dublin Dissent – Dublin’s Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920.

Other publications include Irish Methodists – Where Do I Start? (1999); and (with Eileen O’Duill) Irish Civil Registration – Where Do I Start? (2000) – the first two in the series ‘Exploring Irish Genealogy’, published by CIGO. He has published in various journals and is an occasional contributor to Irish newspaper media and radio. He writes a regular column for Irish Roots magazine.

Currently Steven is working on a detailed guide to the holdings of the National Archives of Ireland, with a particular focus on identifying and drawing together alternative sources for material destroyed in the conflagration of 1922.
In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the IGRS and in 2019 he was elected a Fellow of the prestigious London-based Society of Genealogists.

William Derham

Curator

Dublin Castle

International Cultural and Scientific Advisory Panel

Professor Mary Daly

Former President, Emeritus Professor of Modern Irish History, Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations

Royal Irish Academy, University College Dublin

Conor Falvey

Assistant Secretary

Culture Division Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

Philip Hamell

Retired Assistant Secretary

Department of the Taoiseach

David Huddleston

Acting Director, Core Partner

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Professor Lorna Hughes

Chair of Digital Humanities

School of Information Studies, University of Glasgow

Lorna M. Hughes is Professor in Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow, where she is based in the Information Studies Subject area. Her research addresses the creation of digital cultural heritage, and the use and re-use of digital collections for research, teaching, and public engagement. She has a specific interest in the conceptualisation, development, implementation and categorisation of digital methods in the humanities, and the collaborations between the humanities and scientific disciplines that drive this agenda.

Hughes has worked in digital humanities, and on the development of hybrid digital collections based on material culture held by memory institutions, at a number of organisations in the USA and UK.

She has had leading roles – as Primary Investigator, or co-Investigator – on over twenty funded research projects, including The Welsh Experience of the First World War (cymruww1.llgc.org.uk); the EPSRC-AHRC Scottish National Heritage Partnership; and the EU DESIR project (DARIAH Digital Sustainability). Hughes is Chair of the Europeana Research Advisory Board, and a member of the Governing Board and Vice Chair of EuroScience. She was the Chair of the European Science Foundation (ESF) Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities.

Amongst her publications, she is the author of Digitizing Collections: Strategic Issues for the Information Manager, published by Facet in 2004, and editor of Digital Collections: Use, Value and Impact, published by Facet in 2011. She is the co-editor of The Virtual Representation of the Past published by Ashgate in 2008, and Cultural Heritage Infrastructures in Digital Humanities, published by Routledge in 2018. Her digital outputs include “Rhyfel Byd 1914-1918 a’r profiad Cymreig / Welsh experience of the First World War 1914-1918”.

Jeff James

CEO/Keeper, Core Partner

The National Archives UK

Dr Eoin Kinsella

Managing Editor

Dictionary of Irish Biography

Orlaith McBride

Director, Core Partner

National Archives of Ireland

Professor John McCafferty

Chair, Core Partner

Irish Manuscripts Commission

Barbara McCormack

Librarian

Royal Irish Academy

Lorraine McLoughlin

Chair

Local Government Archivists and Records Managers Group

Ellen Murphy

Archives Manager

Tailte Éireann, Registry of Deeds

Professor Thomas O'Connor

Professor of History, Director of Arts & Humanities Institute

Maynooth University

Helen Shenton

The Librarian, Core Partner

Trinity College Dublin Library