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DRI provides a unique service as the national infrastructure leading digital preservation in Ireland. Digital content is fragile, meaning that our shared digital cultural heritage is at risk of being lost without digital preservation, described as the ‘active management of digital content over time to ensure its ongoing access’ (Library of Congress).

DRI provides reliable, long-term, sustained digital preservation and access to social and cultural digital data generated by researchers in Ireland, held by Irish institutions, or digital material pertaining to the island of Ireland. We make this data openly available in line with the FAIR data principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. Our aim is to safeguard Ireland’s social, cultural, and historical record to ensure that this content remains accessible to researchers, cultural heritage enthusiasts, and members of the public into the future. We support best practice in digital preservation, open access, open research, and FAIR data sharing. Please see our statements on FAIR Principles and TRUST Principles for more information.

DRI operates on a membership model. We provide stewardship of digital data from a range of member organisations including higher education institutions, cultural heritage institutions (the GLAM sector of gallerie, libraries, archives, and museums), government agencies, and county councils. DRI values a diversity of datasets and also offers free DRI Membership and related benefits to underfunded community-based organisations as part of the DRI Community Archive Scheme. In 2024, we launched a Legacy Data Preservation Pilot in collaboration with Sonraí, the Irish Data Stewardship Network, to support those researchers who cannot deposit in DRI through traditional routes, to preserve their research data for long-term access and discovery. When you explore or search the Repository, you are entering a world of rich content that reflects and shapes a broad portrait of Ireland.

In addition to our core DRI programme, DRI is a research-performing organisation (RPO) engaged in a rich range of collaborative partner projects. Find out more about these research projects on our Projects page. DRI News and Events will point you to current initiatives and offerings.

DRI supports the principles of open research. As of 2022, DRI is the coordinating body for the National Open Research Forum. DRI coordinates NORF’s efforts to drive the national agenda for open research, including developing and supporting actions to strengthen, promote, and better support national objectives for open research  as outlined in the National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment (2019) and the National Action Plan for Open Research 2022-2030. Since 2022, NORF and DRI have operated and administered a NORF Open Research Fund, which allocates funding to deliver actions prioritised in the National Action Plan for Open Research.

DRI is funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) via the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).


Meet the team

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is managed by three core academic institutions – the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and Maynooth University (MU). DRI team members are based at each of these institutions.

Find out more about who we are

DRI staff outside RIA


DRI was originally funded through a PRTLI (Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions) Cycle 5 funding grant. In this phase (2011-2015), DRI was built through extensive research into archival and repository best practice, and through continuous  consultations with stakeholders across Ireland. The PRTLI 5 grant brought together a research consortium of six academic partners and over 40 staff to deliver the repository design and architecture, policies, guidelines, and training programmes. Throughout this period, DRI offered an active programme of outreach which included organising conferences, delivering academic papers, and participating widely in national and international networks of expertise.  The founding  consortium partners are: Royal Irish Academy (RIA, lead institute), Maynooth University (MU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

DRI was officially launched as a live repository in June 2015, and continues to be managed by three core academic institutions – RIA, TCD, and MU. DRI team members are based at each of these institutions. The DRI team combines academic and professional expertise across a range of disciplines and profiles, including software engineers, systems architects, archivists, humanities and social sciences scholars, educators, and information professionals.