Newly Digitised Collection – ‘Loreto 1916’


(image from UCD Digital Library, ‘Loreto 1916’)

The Irish Province Archives are delighted to announce the launch of a newly digitised collection – ‘Loreto 1916’, in UCD Digital Library and in a world first,  a Google Arts & Culture Exhibit, ‘Loreto the Green, and 1916’.

‘Loreto 1916’ offers a new and fresh insight into a seminal event in Irish history: the Easter Rising 1916, and features excerpts from digitised community annals from Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham, Loreto College St Stephen’s Green, and some unique photographs from the collection of M. Michael Corcoran IBVM, 4th Superior General (1846 – 1927). These photographs offer previously unseen glimpses into community life with some beautifully informal moments captured.


(Image from Google Art & Culture Exhibit – ‘Loreto the Green, 1916’)

The project was made possible through funding provided by the Irish Research Council, digitisation was completed by UCD Digital Library, and the project was directed by Professor Deirdre Raftery, UCD School of Education.

These exhibitions allows a wide new audience the opportunity to explore religious life and boarding school life 100 years ago, and captures the fear, bewilderment, anxiety and resourcefulness of these women and children unwittingly caught in the midst of an armed rebellion.

Isolated in St Stephen’s Green, with no access to communication, faced with extreme food shortages & threatened by stray bullets, these remarkable and intrepid women struggled to maintain a sense of normality for the boarding pupils who remained in their care.

Read about the Sister in St Stephen’s Green who awoke to a bullet crashing through the window of her cell, but decided that the nightly vow of silence held greater precedence and so did not alert the rest of the community! She spent the remainder of the night, sitting in her cell, praying…..hoping that a second bullet wouldn’t arrive in the same window!

Read about the workers on the farm in Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham who downed tools and left to join the rebellion, the Sisters who watched the city burn and kept a night-time vigil to offer food and shelter to the retreating Rebels.

The professionally digitised images have been already been well used by pupils from several Loreto Schools and have featured in a physical exhibition – ‘The Catholic Church & 1916: Ministry Advocacy and Compassion’ in Dublin’s pro-cathedral.


We hope you enjoy it!

UCD Digital Library –

Google Art & Culture Exhibit –

Digitisation Project – Dublin

We have completed one of our long awaited projects – the digitisation of the papers of M. Teresa Ball IBVM – foundress of the Irish branch of the IBVM (Loreto).

This is the oldest collection in the Institute Archives, the earliest document dates from 1814 and it documents the foundation of the Institute in Ireland from 1821.

We were anxious to have preservation copies of the original material and to facilitate greater use of the collection particularly by province archives and through our online presence.

The digitisation project was outsourced to a local company – Eneclann, who specialise in the digitisation of archival material. They have extensive work experience in digitising collections with national, local and other archival repositories, and were familiar with the security and handling requirements of archival collections. The collection was taken off –site for the digitisation process and were returned to us within 4 weeks.

Over 2,400 discrete images were captured. On completion of the project we were presented with images in two formats to facilitate preservation and access. The resulting images were captured as a 24-bit (full colour) image with a 450 DPI. The master or preservation copies are stored as uncompressed TIFF images.  A surrogate set of files were created as PDFs, these are the access copies. The master copies are the preservation copies and will only be used to generate lower resolution images to facilitate access.

All images are watermarked to protect the copyright and associated intellectual rights of IBVM Archives.

Each image (master and access) is named after the reference of the original (physical) item and are stored in folders corresponding to the file reference of the original (physical) item.

We requested a selection of sample images of both master and access formats during the digitisation process, to ensure that we were happy with the quality of the images captured. The digitisation company implemented their own validation procedures during the project including checking for focus & clarity, completeness of the captured image, lighting, bit depth, resolution & file format.

We are delighted with the end product and look forward to increasing access to this foundation collection through the use of our digitised images.