The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has today issued a call to members of the public to nominate websites which they believe best record Irish life in 2016 and remember the events of 1916.

‘Remembering 1916, Recording 2016’ is the NLI’s largest web archiving project to date and is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. The project is part of NLI 2016, the commemorative programme in the National Library, and is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The NLI has been carrying out selective and thematic web archiving since 2011, aimed at ensuring a permanent record is kept of websites of cultural and historical importance.

Announcing the public call today, Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the NLI said: “With this public call we are asking everyone to think about the best Irish websites of 2016, because websites are an increasingly important source of information today. We want everyone to vote so that we can archive these modern Irish memories for now and for future generations to share.”

“In 2016 we embarked on our most ambitious web archiving programme, capturing over 600 websites in total, which will all be openly accessible online, to anywhere in the world. This is an important part of our collecting programme, where we capture the contemporary memory of our country. Nowadays much of the story of Ireland is created in digital format, and it is our role to collect Ireland’s contemporary culture in the many different forms it takes. We are collecting 2016 materials from across the country and now we are asking the public to help us with the ‘Remembering 1916, Recording 2016’ national web archive collection.”

The NLI has issued a call to members of the public to nominate websites for the ‘Remembering 1916, Recording 2016’ web archive collection by answering the following questions:
· What website do you feel best remembers the events of 1916?
· What website do you feel best records Irish life in 2016?

Members of the public can nominate websites here:

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD commented: “This year’s commemorations have shown us very clearly the value of keeping archives and records of the past. The National Library plays a fundamental role in helping us to connect and remember our past.

“Today, our daily lives are increasingly spent online and the onus is on us to ensure that digitally shared information is preserved for future generations. The National Library is leading the way in digital collecting and delivery, which it has identified as one of its strategic priorities for the next five years. I welcome this public call for submissions to the ‘Remembering 1916, Recording 2016’ web archive collection and encourage everybody to nominate the websites they would like to see archived for the future.”

The top five websites chosen in each category for ‘Remembering 1916, Recording 2016’ will be selected, in accordance with the terms and conditions.

Nominations will be accepted for a period of three weeks, closing on Monday, 28th November. An independent assessor will verify the decision making, as outlined in the terms and conditions. An awards ceremony will take place in December 2016 to announce the ten websites independently nominated by members of the public.

Once the top ten websites have been identified and selected by the public, the NLI will contact the website owners directly to let them know of the public interest in archiving their website. Working with its web-archiving partner, the Internet Memory Foundation, the NLI will then capture and preserve the relevant website.

Dr Sandra Collins continued: “From 14th century Gaelic manuscripts to 21st century websites and the papers of Yeats and Joyce, to the works of contemporary Irish writers, the NLI is the repository of Ireland’s national written heritage. It is also the guardian of personal histories in the form of vast archives of letters, photographs and diaries, and family history sources such as the Roman Catholic parish registers. Our holdings constitute the most comprehensive collection of Irish documentary material in the world.

“Nowadays so much information is created and shared online, it can be challenging to ensure permanent records of cultural and historical significance are kept. Relevant websites can quickly disappear in the aftermath of events. To ensure we are collecting and preserving a broad representation of our contemporary culture and heritage, it is essential that the national collections comprise not just paper-based materials, but digital collections as well.

“Earlier this year, we launched our new Strategy 2016-2021, which outlines our commitment to innovation, and the NLI Web Archive is an example of our leadership in the digital arena. The memory of modern Ireland is increasingly created in digital form, and we need to keep using innovative approaches to capturing and sharing the contemporary record.”

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