Irish History Online project - SPUR 2022

Reading Room, RIA Library
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 17:15


IRISH HISTORY ONLINE is Ireland’s leading historical bibliography.  It is one of a network of fourteen European historical bibliographies,  all of which are recognised as part of the fundamental research structure in the humanities.  What makes Irish History Online different from regular library catalogues is that it facilitates searches for bibliographical information not just on books and journal articles but also chapters in edited collections, including Festschriften and conference proceedings.  In addition, it lists research theses on Irish history.  It is regularly updated, and is free to users.

IRISH HISTORY ONLINE is based in the Royal Irish Academy (, Dublin under the management of the library.  The work of identifying and inputting data is done by volunteer compilers.  For several years, MU SPUR students have worked on this project and have contributed significantly to the enhancement of this online resource which is made freely available to anyone interested in Irish History. The project is looking to recruit a student volunteer to help over the summer in this important work.
Covid-19 restrictions permitting, the successful candidate will be based in the Royal Irish Academy Library (19, Dawson Street, Dublin 2), under the supervision of Meadhbh Murphy, the managing editor and Deputy Librarian. 

As the inmagic desktop client software is only available to access onsite in Academy House, an onsite workstation will be provided.  There is no remote access to this software.  During the first week the successful student will be given guidance on the project and how data is input, with the need to compile indexing terms, using the I.H.O. thesaurus of recognised terms.  Some of the material will be held in the R.I.A. Library; some of it will be held in other research libraries, including the National Library of Ireland and Maynooth University Library.  The successful candidate may work in these and other research libraries to identify relevant material for inputting.  There will be some flexibility in the hours of work: for instance, if the candidate prefers to take an afternoon off, this could be made up for by working some extra hours on other days.  The work would be particularly likely to suit a student who may be interested, for instance, in following a career in librarianship.
The successful candidate will hone their research skills, and learn how to source relevant material in other libraries.  They will have the opportunity to work on their own initiative, and learn how to develop the necessary methodological approach.  The experience will also help to improve the student’s technical proficiency.  In addition, there will be the satisfaction of making a contribution to this important element in the historical research infrastructure. 

MU Mentors: Professor Marian Lyons ( and Professor Emeritus Jacqueline Hill (, Department of History, Maynooth University.
Closing date for student applications: Friday 11 March 2022