Humanities Serving Irish Society


Funded under cycle four of the Programme of Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI), the Humanities Serving Irish Society (HSIS) initiative is a partnership of equals committed to developing an inter-institutional research infrastructure for the humanities. Consisting of the Royal Irish Academy, Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Ulster, University College Cork, National University of Ireland Galway, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University and University of Limerick.

The centerpiece of the HSIS collaboration was the Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO), a sophisticated web-based humanities resource, which stored, preserved and provided access to the increasingly complex range of e-resources in the humanities. For more information visit

The DHO worked to ensure a set of common standards based on best international practice to enable the fullest exploitation of existing national research collections and data repositories. In doing so, the DHO filled a critical gap in Ireland’s humanities research infrastructure, as identified by a wide range of policy documents and reviews including the Academy’s report: Advancing Humanities and Social Science Research in Ireland. The DHO also incorporated a strong teaching and learning aspect by contributing seminars to a HSIS bi-semestrial postgraduate seminar series as well as organising its own annual standards seminars and technical workshops.

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