DRI Community Archive Scheme

The Cork LGBT Archive has won the inaugural DRI Community Archive Scheme! The Award gives the Cork LGBT Archive free associated membership of the DRI for a year.

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is the national digital repository for Ireland’s humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage data.  The DRI launched the Community Archives Membership Scheme to support community organisations to be able to become members of the DRI. “As a largely public-funded repository we believe it is important to make long-term preservation of digital materials open to a wide range of organisations, including those operating on a non-funded, voluntary basis. To the end, we launched a Community Archives Membership Scheme.”

As the winner of the first DRI Community Archive Scheme, Cork LGBT Archive will be granted a year’s free associate membership for the year 2019. The DRI will provide training and support to enable the inclusion of items and collections from the Cork LGBT Archive in the Digital Repository of Ireland. This will ensure greater visibility for Cork LGBT history and the long-term digital preservation of this history.

Clare Lanigan, Education and Outreach Manager at DRI, commented:

“We received several excellent applications, and it was difficult to select one winner. Our judging panel considered the Cork LGBT Archive to be a collection of considerable social relevance, not only for LGBT community activism but also for other social change movements and Irish history in general. The panel also agreed that the archive gives a glimpse into the range of dynamic activism throughout Ireland. We appreciate the work that has already gone into Cork LGBT archive, and note that it is ready for ingestion, with regard to well-prepared metadata and licences.”

Orla Egan of Cork LGBT Archives said: 

“The Cork LGBT Archive is delighted to have been selected as the winner of the first DRI Community Archives Scheme!  This is an important acknowledgment of the importance of preserving Irish LGBT history and heritage and of including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in the Digital Repository of Ireland.   It is important that the DRI’s collections reflect the diversity of Irish society and that the DRI helps to preserve and display previously hidden histories and heritage. 

Inclusion in the Digital Repository of Ireland is very important for small unfunded community archives, like the Cork LGBT Archive, who do not have the resources to develop our own complex digital preservation processes.  The DRI has the resources and expertise to develop comprehensive preservation policies and practices. For community archives, like the Cork LGBT Archive, this provides the best option for ensuring the long-term digital preservation of our collections.

We are looking forward to working with the team in the DRI and to seeing Cork’s history of LGBT community activism included in the Digital Repository of Ireland.”

See Gay Community News article here

Queer Republic of Cork

Queer Republic of Cork, Cork’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities 1970s-1990s was published in December 2016 by Onstream Publishers, with the support of the Cork City Council’s Heritage Publication Grant.  The book, written by Orla Egan, is available to buy online.

Orla Egan and her son Jacob. Photo Dominic Walsh

Queer Republic of Cork charts the development of the Cork LGBT Community from the 1970s to 1990s.  Cork has a long history of LGBT activism and community formation, but this has been a hidden and unacknowledged history.  Queer Republic of Cork aims to redress this invisibility and to begin to tell the story of the development of this vibrant and active community.

In 2015 the Irish people voted in favour of Marriage Equality for same-sex couples and the Irish Government enacted the Gender Recognition Act, two important steps towards equality for LGBT people in Ireland.   Queer Republic of Cork also aims to expand our understanding of how these changes came about; the developments in 2015 built on decades of activism by LGBT people all over Ireland, decades of fighting prejudice and discrimination and demanding respect and equality for LGBT people.

Queer Republic of Cork links to the work of the Cork LGBT Archive, which aims to preserve, digitise, share and display information in relation to the history of the LGBT communities in Cork, Ireland.

In August 2016 a Queer Republic of Cork Exhibition was held as part of Heritage Week.  This exhibition features posters, photographs, leaflets and other items from the Cork LGBT Archive and took people on a journey through the development of the Cork LGBT community from the 1970s-1990s.

In 2016 the Cork LGBT Archive received funding from the Heritage Council to enable the proper storage of the collection and from the Cork City Council Heritage Publication Grant.  These two grants were significant, not just financially, but also symbolically, as they indicated an acceptance and acknowledgment of Irish LGBT History as an important part of Irish Heritage.

Roz Crowley, Publisher and Orla Egan, Author, at launch of Queer Republic of Cork book. Photo Dominic Walsh

The book was launched in the Quay Co-op on 15 December 2016.  Speaking at the launch Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer with Cork City Council, commented:  “I think that this book Queer Republic of Cork is an excellent example of a book that fulfils all of the Cork City Council Publication Heritage Grant Scheme. It is of great cultural heritage significance and covers an area of Irish society which has been hidden and unacknowledged for a long time. The time period it covers 1970 to 1990s were important time for LGBT activism and community formation and this book enables all of us in our society to access and engage with this previously hidden aspect of cultural heritage.” 

Jacob Egan-Morley, son of Author Orla Egan, at book launch. Photo Dominic Walsh

The Cork Evening Echo ran a two page article by Ellie O Byrne, on the book on 27 December.

Evening Echo 27 Dec 2016

Evening Echo 27 Dec 2016