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Ireland launches project to bring together its digital collections

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A new project aims to bring the digital collections of Ireland's national cultural institutions to a global audience.

Inspiring Ireland will provide free access at one address to the treasures held by Ireland's cultural institutions, including the country's national museums, libraries, galleries, archives and theatre.

The project is a collaboration between the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Digital Repository of Ireland, the National Library, the National Museum, the National Gallery, the National Archives, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Crawford Art Gallery, the Chester Beatty Library and the Abbey Theatre.

Inspiring Ireland was launched by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Ireland's Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht during a visit to Stanford University, California, USA.

'It gives me great pride to launch Inspiring Ireland. Ireland’s national cultural institutions hold collections that are of great international significance. They chart the story of Ireland, from pre-Christian and medieval times to the modern day. And, they hold as part of their collections treasures of international importance drawn from the across the globe,' he commented.

'My vision for Inspiring Ireland is that, through this website, everyone will be able to access these treasures free of charge and at one address. Inspiring Ireland will also support the digitisation and preservation of Ireland's digital cultural heritage for future generations, showcasing once again Ireland's growing reputation as a centre for the innovative use of digital technology.'

For launch, Inspiring Ireland features a core exhibition - A Sense of Place - accompanied by two further exhibitions - A Sense of Freedom, and A Sense of Identity. These three exhibitions are said to be populated with more than 100 fully-searchable objects.