About the Irish Community Archive Network

iCAN is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme

The National Museum of Ireland is working  with volunteers and our local Heritage Officer partners in counties Galway, Clare and Wicklow to help communities collect, preserve and make accessible their local history and heritage online. You can explore the member archives here.

These communities are writing their own histories

These communities are writing their own histories by tapping into local collections, family photographs, memories, newspapers and publications, church records and so much more. Much of the information has never before been published and offers fascinating insights into local Irish life.

Every community in Ireland has its own unique people, places and events. By preserving this information for posterity and opening it up to a worldwide audience, not only are these communities sharing this information they are also building their archives through new contributions from visitors to the websites.

Community Archives – what are they?

Community archives encourage collaborative engagement with local collections of mainly primary sources: photographs, documents, material objects and oral histories. They often develop from a shared identity, and can result in a better understanding and appreciation of a community’s history and heritage. The process can bring people in a community together with a sense of shared purpose, often leading to heritage-based educational, social and community development activities within the wider locality.

I’d like to do something in my area

You could set up a volunteer group in your town or village and encourage other people to get involved. Why not run a memories event, or a coffee morning where people can come together to reminisce about life in their town or village. You could also encourage your local Clubs and Societies to add pages to this website.

Setting up your own community archive project

If your community group is interested in starting an online archive check out our Community Archives pages. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

Comments about this page

  • I think a Community Archive is a wonderful idea and gives individuals interested in the history of their local area an avenue to express this and share interesting information.

    By Shirley Fitzgerald (19/02/2021)

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