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NLI & Creative Ireland to inclusively enrich the national narrative

Intent on amplifying, collecting and preserving the lesser heard voices in Irish society, the National Library of Ireland and Creative Ireland are partnering to enrich Ireland’s story with more diversity and inclusivity.

Home to our cherished national collections and gatekeeper to the artefacts of Irish life since it opened in 1877, the National Library of Ireland (NLI) is one of the country’s true treasures. From its one million manuscripts that span a thousand years, to its vast newspaper archives and compelling photographic records, its constant recording of life as we know it continues to prove invaluable.

Far from a guardian of history, part of the NLI’s role is that of cultural custodian – collecting and recording modern Ireland’s ever-evolving culture and heritage, not just its storied past.

In a move to create a more diverse and inclusive story of Ireland – one that records our modern-day breadth of cultures, ethnicities and unique personal histories – the NLI is developing a series of actions that ensure new voices are collected and shared with the world. This approach will ultimately enrich the country’s vibrant narrative and make the iconic institution a welcoming place to everyone.

In partnership with the Creative Ireland Programme, the NLI will work with groups who are underrepresented in national narratives or whose culture and heritage is at risk of not being collected/preserved for future generations. Taking place over 2018-2019, this diversity and inclusion pilot project will develop new narratives and materials for the Library’s national collections. Beginning this September, consultations, workshops and discussions will take place with diverse groups in the hope of capturing and sharing the broader, more multicultural aspects of Ireland’s story.

Under the Creative Ireland Programme Scheme 2018/2019, funding of €15,000 will be provided by Minister Josepha Madigan TD and matched by the NLI, amounting to a total of €30,000.

With a great importance placed on gender equality, diversity and inclusion, the NLI’s vital role in capturing our culture and heritage can continue with as wide a scope of Irish life represented as possible.

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