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HER-ald: HER archives, literature, documents


Thursday, December 14, 2023, 09:00 - 17:00



Free in-person event, booking essential

Join us for an interdisciplinary one-day seminar which aims to enhance the visibility of Irish women in archival collections.

This one-day seminar aims to enhance the visibility of Irish women scientists, scholars, authors and others by bringing together archival practitioners, librarians, historians and other stakeholders to discover, discuss and disseminate women's archival collections. The seminar, HER-ald: Her archives, literature, documents, will take place in the Royal Irish Academy on Thursday 14 December 2023. This date also marks the 105th anniversary of Irish women over the age of 30 exercising their right to vote in a general election for the first time.

This event is kindly supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and Mná 100.


09:00: Registration and Tea/Coffee.

09.30: Opening remarks
Dr Siobhán O’Sullivan, Executive Director (Royal Irish Academy).

09.45: Panel 1: Custodians

Chair: Barbara McCormack, Librarian (Royal Irish Academy).

  • Paper One - ‘Our future will become the past of other women’. Meadhbh Murphy, Deputy Librarian (Royal Irish Academy).
  • Paper Two - ‘The Playwright on the Stairs: Recovering Archival Loss of Irish Women Theatre-Makers’. Dr Barry Houlihan, Archivist (University of Galway Library Archives).
  • Paper Three - ‘Hark! the Herald-Archivists’. Dr Jane Maxwell, Manuscripts Curator (Manuscripts & Archives Research Library, The Library of Trinity College Dublin).
  • Paper Four - ‘In Her Words: Women in PRONI’s Archives’. Lynsey Gillespie, Deputy Head of Public Services (Public Records Office of Northern Ireland) and Project Manager of Making the Future, Women in Archives.
  • Paper Five - 'Sources for Irish Women's History database, 1999-2023'. Prof. Maria Luddy, Emeritus Professor of Modern Irish History (University of Warwick) and Director of the Women's History Project, 1997-2001

12.00: Lunch (a sandwich lunch will be provided).

13:00: Panel 2: Consultants

Chair: Professor Emeritus Colm Lennon MRIA (Maynooth University)

  • Paper One - 'Using the archives to write histories of queer female sexualities in Ireland'. Dr Mary McAuliffe, Director of Gender Studies (University College Dublin).
  • Paper Two - ‘’This is for the historian not yet born': reading unionist women’. Prof. Diane Urquhart MRIA, President of the Women’s History Association of Ireland and Professor of Gender History (Queen’s University Belfast).
  • Paper Three - ‘Victims? Women in compensation records from the Irish Revolution’. Dr Brian Hughes, Director of the Irish Association of Professional Historians and Lecturer of Twentieth Century Irish History (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick).
  • Paper Four - ‘The space between the notes: women’s voices across time’. Virginia Teehan MRIA, Chief Executive Officer (Heritage Council).

14:50: Festive tea/coffee

15:10: Panel 3: Creatives

Chair: Professor Emeritus Bernadette Whelan MRIA (University of Limerick)

  • Paper One - ‘50 years of Pioneering Women at the University of Limerick: Past and Present'. Dr Martin Walsh, Lecturer of Social and Gender History (University of Limerick) and Curator of 50 Years of Pioneering Women: Past and Present.
  • Paper Two - 'Her voice, through the works of Cartoon Saloon'. Nora Twomey, Co-founder of Cartoon Saloon.
  • Paper Three - ‘Curating Mná100’. Dr Sinead McCoole, Historian and Curator of Mná100.
  • Paper Four - ‘Hidden Stories - the inspiration found in women's archival collections’. Andrew Hughes, author of The Coroner’s Daughter (Penguin-Transworld, 2018), 2023 One Dublin One Book.

17:00: Closing remarks
Mary O’Dowd MRIA, Emeritus Professor of Gender History (Queen’s University Belfast)

Access requirements

Have you got any access requirements that we can assist you with, so that you can fully engage with our event? Please let us know by contacting our access officer, in advance of the event, by email at

Image credit: Cynthia Longfield Roberts on Narborough Island, Galapagos Archipelago holding up a marine iguana by the tail. (RIA A034 Photo vol II)

Tabhair tacaíocht do thodhchaí an léinn in Éirinn

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