Crowdsourcing Irish History
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III National AIPH Conference, Università degli Studi della Campania
CrowdsourcingPublic HistoryDigital HistoryDigital HumanitiesHumanidades DigitalesIrelandGenealogyHistory of Families
SponsorshipCentre of Irish Studies - Universidad de Granada
Irish diaspora is how we refer to the historical process of migration from Ireland, recorded since the Early Middle Ages, but particularly evident since the XVIII century. By the 21st century, an estimated 80 million people worldwide claimed some Irish descent. The online project Historic Graves (https://historicgraves.com) capitalised on this global phenomenon, putting together a worldwide community of more than 15,000 users, engaged in generating a nationwide genealogical dataset. The initiative started in 2010, as a community focused grassroots heritage project, where local community groups are trained in low-cost high-tech field survey of historic graveyards and recording of their own oral histories. The heritage dataset put together by the Historic Graves project has proved to be a valuable genealogical and touristic asset, allowing people inter- ested in tracing their family history to locate their headstones to individual graveyards, as well as being a source for historical analysis on Irish local and global history, for archaeologists and historians. The project evolved from archaeological professional surveys, focusing on studying the headstones, the burial practices and the representation of power and status, to community archaeology focused on graveyards as living heritage, with both tangible and intangible components. Local and family historians abound in Ireland and academic historians have formalised their approaches into what is called the History of Families - combining genealogy, social history and public history. We have brought the strengths of archaeological fieldwork to the study of the History of Families, whereby we can follow many family groups, via their gravestones, back to the 17th century and to the new communities they formed in distant countries.