Digital Humanities and Library and Information Studies

Digital Humanities (DH) is a discipline that is very concerned with making things – probably too much. It is when DH intersects with Library and Information Studies (LIS) that it is more likely to reflect on its source material and develop critical scholarship.

LIS and DH are closely related, maybe more so than it seems at first. Niels Brügger, in a recent publication, clearly lays out how closely information and storage are related even in seemingly ephemeral content:

digital media duality is that of digital media being simultaneously material artefacts and digital. Although the digital writing is 0 and 1 is never experienced by humans in its pure form, as power/no power, it is there and it is indispensable. What is experienced is the artefact, the machine. (Brügger 2018, 17)

Projects that involve both LIS and DH are ideally suited to cover both aspects of this duality. One example of how this cooperation might look is the 2017 Inside Dublin Castle digital edition of some 62 letters exchanged between Anglo-Irish government officials from August through December 1808. These letters are part of a much larger collection of more than 1800 letters from the Littlehales collection held at the Russell Library in Maynooth University:

The goal of the project was to create a digital edition based on a selection of correspondence from the Littlehales archive held by Maynooth University Library. The selection mainly consists of correspondence between Edward Baker Littlehales, Charles Kendal Bushe and John Beckett written from August through December in 1808. The letters were digitised, transcribed, encoded and contextualised in order to provide a better understanding of a turbulent yet often neglected period in Irish history. (Centre for Digital Humanities Maynooth n.d.)

This project shows how cooperation between DH and LIS can cover both the material and digital artefact while delivering an accurate representation of both. It is important to understand that the website and the transcribed letters do not exist independently from the archival and preservation work of the Russel library. Rather the only reason we still have access to those letters – and a robust system to describe and organize them – is due to the work of librarians and archivists. Any interaction with those letters then means to interact with the archival practices and infrastructure that surround them.

Digitizing objects does not mean to create something entirely new and detached from the source, if done right it means adding to the practices that surround the source. This further means that to do it right, a team working with the source needs to have a thorough understanding of the already existing range of practices. To do this, a project like Inside Dublin Castle is dependent on the knowledge of librarians and archivists that currently curate the collection, as well all previous work that allowed the collection to still be available today. If a project achieves this, it does not treat the library as a mere repository to randomly draw data from. What it does is it enhances the material, makes processes visible and gives users all the information they need to take their own steps towards a digital edition.

Brügger, Niels. 2018. The Archived Web: Doing History in the Digital Age. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Centre for Digital Humanities Maynooth. n.d. ‘Inside Dublin Castle’. Accessed 25 March 2019.

About the Authormk

Michael Kurzmeier is a PhD candidate in Digital Humanities at Maynooth University. His thesis investigates questions of preservation and presentation of digital cultural heritage. The age of digital communication as also the age of massive data collection driven by very different intentions. As those archives serve as memory agents for current and future ways to remember and portrait the past, it is necessary to understand the challenges and opportunities that an increasing digitization of memory brings. Michael received his BA European Literature from Marburg and MA American Studies from Tübingen University. He has worked for DARIAH and has a strong interest in open source hard- and software as well as previous experience as an IT Manager.

Twitter:  @MKRZMR


SLIP Conference 2018 Guidelines

SLIP 2018 Logo

On the 24th of February 2018 SLIP Ireland are delighted to be holding our Third Annual Conference. Submissions are now open for current students and graduates of the last three years from any library, archives, records management or digital humanities qualification.

This will be a full day event with 2 panel discussions, the first will focus on academic issues that face information professionals while the second is made up of a variety of practitioners discussing their pathway from study to practice.  

The theme of the conference is “To be or not to be an information professional, that is the question”. We are open to a broad interpretation of the theme and welcome presentations on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Comparing the theory and practice of your field whether it be librarianship, archives or digital humanities
  • Management
  • First professional jobs
  • Balancing education and work
  • Networking
  • Presenting
  • Communities of practice
  • Transferable skills
  • Working in non-traditional libraries
  • The job market/emigration


  • Should be no more than 10 minutes
  • May have a PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi of PDF visual presentation format. If you would like to use another format please check with us by emailing
  • There is free WiFi at the venue but an offline backup of any digital material is advised.
  • Submission Deadline: 01/02/2018

Conference Details

Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 144 Pearse St., Dublin 2.
Date: 24/02/2018
Time: TBC


Sign up with the submission form here!

Destination Data for Graduates of Postgraduate Library Programmes in the Republic of Ireland

Since embarking on the MSc in Information and Library Management at Dublin Business School, I have met numerous lecturers, guest speakers and other L.I.S. professionals at different events, all of whom work in a diverse range of industries and positions within their respective organisations. This experience has contributed towards the direction I will be taking for my dissertation, as I intend to explore the scope of employment for L.I.S. Masters course graduates in Ireland.

The aim of my dissertation is to examine the sectors of employment that graduates have entered since completing their courses, including the organisations they have worked for and the roles that they have filled within those organisations. I hope to be able to generate comparable figures for the numbers of graduates who have pursued careers inside and outside of the library sector. I also wish to assess the degree to which the education received in L.I.S. Masters courses is transferable to employment outside of the library environment. The target population for this dissertation is those who have graduated from an L.I.S. Masters course in the Republic of Ireland since the academic year 2011/12 inclusive.

A significant amount of literature exists regarding the wide range of skillsets utilised in day-to-day work by modern librarians (Foutch, 2016), (Murray, 2014), (Mahraj, 2012), (Gordon, 2003). Considerable literature is also available regarding the transferability and applicability of librarians’ skillsets to jobs outside of the library environment (Spring, 2016), (Law, 2014). However, there does not seem to be sufficient research focused on recent graduates in Ireland, which specifically examines the areas of employment graduates enter after completing their L.I.S. course.

There is also previous research concerning the skills that L.I.S. professionals feel they lack when seeking employment outside of traditional L.I.S. environments. However, this research is based upon data gathered from professionals spread across the globe (Hazeri, Sarrafzadeh, & Martin, 2007) I hope to gather data that is specifically representative of graduates of Irish courses to compare with this existing research, as well as other studies in the literature.

Based on the literature reviewed, and my own experiences, I believe that there is an opportunity to conduct informative research examining the variety of graduates’ career paths, both inside and outside of the library environment within the Irish context.

If you are a graduate of an L.I.S. Masters course in the Republic of Ireland, who has graduated since the academic year 2011/12 inclusive, and would like to participate in this survey, please click the following link to complete the short questionnaire –


  1. Foutch, L. J. ., leslie.foutch@vanderbilt.ed. (2016). A New Partner in the Process: The Role of a Librarian on a Faculty Research Team. Collaborative Librarianship, 8(2), 80–83.
  2. Gordon, R. S. (2003). The accidental systems librarian. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.
  3. Hazeri, A., Sarrafzadeh, M., & Martin, B. (2007). Reflections of Information Professionals on Knowledge Management Competencies in the LIS Curriculum. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, (3), 168.
  4. Law, D. (2014). The world is our lobster. New Library World, 115(5/6), 200–210.
  5. Mahraj, K., (2012). Using Information Expertise to Enhance Massive Open Online Courses. Public Services Quarterly, 8(4), 359–368.
  6. Murray, T. E. . (2014). Applying Traditional Librarianship to New Roles for Special Librarians. Journal of Library Administration, 54(4), 327–336.
  7. Spring, H. (2016). Online learning: the brave new world of massive open online courses and the role of the health librarian. Health Information & Libraries Journal, (1), 84.

About The Author

Daire O’Driscoll is currently completing his MSc in Information and library management at Dublin Business School. He previously graduated with BA in Theological and Biblical Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Daire is currently volunteering in the Barnardos Learning and Development Service. Before commencing his Masters, he worked in a variety of different jobs, including as an English language teacher and a fiction writer.