Campaigns Officer Joanne Carroll, Historian and EYA 2019 Ambassador Fin Dwyer, and Communications Officer Niamh Ní Charra
(Photo Credit: Marc O'Sullivan)
Explore Your Archive is an annual campaign that showcases the best of archives and archive services in Ireland and the UK.

The campaign aims to open up the phenomenal archival collections held by organisations – public and private –  whatever their size and scale, and wherever they are.

Explore Your Archive 2020 launch week will run from 21st to 29th November. Throughout the week archives across the country will open their doors to showcase their collections, to help the public discover a piece of Irish history and culture through tours, presentations and workshops. Watch this space for news relating to the 2020 campaign and follow us on social media to learn more.

September 2020

EYA daily themes have been announced! Get planning and then get ready to get sharing during EYA 2020!

21/11 Communication

22/11 Home

23/11 Plans

24/11 Education

25/11 Labels

26/11 Science

27/11 Celebration

28/11 Health

29/11 Light



Friday 15th November

"Celebrating Siobhán McKenna Symposium"

National University of Ireland, Galway

O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, 9.45am-4pm

Following the launch of the Siobhán McKenna archive at 10am, this day long symposium celebrates the life and work of McKenna, and includes panel discussions with current practitioners "Women Theatre Makers Now!" , conversations with Lelia Doolan and historian Dr Magaret McCurtain "Remembering Siobhán", an interview with Garry Hynes "Working with Siobhán" and a keynote lecture from Dr Lionel Pilkington "Siobhán McKenna: Acting and Activism". It conclused with a devised performance in Irish based on the archive, performed by students of the BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance. Click here for more information and to register.

Thursday 21st November

Derry City and Strabane: "Exploring Archive & Genealogy Collections"

Alley Theatre, Strabane, 2pm-6pm

The Archive & Genealogy service is responsible for the preservation, interpretation and creation of access to the civic records of the Council and its predecessor, the Londonderry Corporation. Click here for more information. 

Monday 25th November

 PRONI Workshop: "Getting Started"

 Public Records Office, Northern Ireland (PRONI), 11am-1pm

Are you interested in local and family history? Why not come along to a practical workshop at PRONI to discover the essential skills required to begin your search at PRONI. More information available here

Tuesday 26th November

 PRONI Workshop: "Online resources for family and local history"

 Public Records Office, Northern Ireland (PRONI), 11am-1pm

Come along to a workshop at PRONI to find out more and improve your IT skills. More information available here


"Taster Talks on Oral history"

Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, 6-8pm

Each year, Dublin City Archives offers the Lord Mayor's Certificate in Oral History, which has been taught since 2013.  As part of Explore Your Archive festival 2019, previous graduates will give short presentations on their projects for the course.  Topics include: 14 Henrietta St Tenement Memories project; 1916 Remembered; using Oral Histories to inform Local Studies - case-study for Stillorgan and Chapelizod; family stories and oral history.  Come along for an evening of storytelling!

Admission free/all welcome/ beidh tae agus caife ar fáil


 Wednesday 27th November

Lunchtime talk: "Cooking the Books"

National Library of Ireland, Dublin 1-1.45pm

To celebrate Explore Your Archive 2019, join archivists Joanne Carroll and Nora Thornton, as they explore the recipes and cookbooks of the National Library, from the 17th to the 21st century. Free cake samples! For more information click here

 Using "WikiTree"

 Public Records Office, Northern Ireland (PRONI), 1pm-2pm

Anne Johnston will deliver an introduction to WikiTree, a free genealogy website that maintains over 17 million ancestral profiles. More information available here.


“From the Cradle to the Grave”: The Work of the Sanitary Officer.

Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club, Dungarvan,  8pm

A talk by J. Rothwell, Waterford City and County Archivist for Waterford County Museum Society

Improvements in the survival rates of people in Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries owes much to the work of the Sanitary Officers appointed to oversee a huge range of issues from clean water; diseases and control of infections; hospital accommodation;  bath-houses; slaughter-houses;  lodging houses; schools, mortuaries and burial grounds. Every aspect of life from the cradle to the grave came under their remit and the records of the work of the sanitary officers are often one of the only places we can glimpse the lives of ordinary people struggling to survive. In this talk the Archivist will give people a chance to explore a little of what life was like in sometimes gross and gory detail. Cost:€5 
Thursday 28th November

 "A Beginner's guide to using DNA for family history"

 Public Records Office, Northern Ireland (PRONI), 1pm-2pm

Martin McDowell will take you on a whirlwind tour through the  brave new world of DNA. More information available here


"Roots: Tracing your Family History"

RCSI, Library Information Point, 1pm

A talk for staff and students with RCSI Archivist Leanne Harrington


"Exploring Land, Mapping and Property Records in Ireland"

Property Registration Authority of Ireland, 2.30pm - 6pm

The seminar will focus on the historical records of three state bodies – the Valuation Office, Ordinance Survey Ireland (OSi) and the Registry of Deeds (which forms part of the Property Registration Authority). It will provide an overview of the type of records which have been created, how the archives can be accessed, and the value of the records for research. Speakers include Dr Fiona Fitzsimons who will outline using Registry of Deeds for family history research, Frances McGee who will describe the archives of the valuation office, Maurice Kavanagh who will give a presentation on the OSi historic map collection and Ellen Murphy who will discuss the development of archive services at the Registry of Deeds.To register and for more information click here
 Friday 29th November

 Launch of New Online Records at PRONI

 Public Records Office, Northern Ireland (PRONI), 11am-3pm

The event will feature a series of presentations and demonstrations showcasing digitized records that will be available online. More information available here.


Derry City and Strabane: "Exploring Archive & Genealogy Collections"

Central Libary, Derry, 12pm-4pm

The Archive & Genealogy service is responsible for the preservation, interpretation and creation of access to the civic records of the Council and its predecessor, the Londonderry Corporation. Click here for more information.


1st-30th November

Three month-long exhibitions

Donegal County Archives

Donegal County Archives is celebrating its 20th year in 2019. As part of the celebrations for Explore Your Archive 2019 and for the 20 year anniversary, the Archives Service is touring some of its exhibitions at Co. Donegal’s public service centres and other public spaces.


"Celebrating 120 Years of the History of Irish Local Government/ Ag ceiliúradh stair Rialtas Áitiúil na hÉireann"

The bi-lingual exhibition curated by the Local Government Archivists and Records Managers explores the history and significance of local democracy in Ireland; it is touring local public service centres and is currently (Nov 2019) in Donegal town Public Service Centre.


"A Trek through Time: Images from Donegal County Archives/ Turas tríd an stair : Íomhánna as Cartlann Contae Dhún na nGall"

This exhibition focuses on images and stories from Co. Donegal’s history, as reflected in some of its major Archives collections. The exhibition consists of twelve panels:  Arts & the Archives; Donegal Grand Jury; The Railways of Co. Donegal; Schools & Schooling in Co. Donegal; The Joseph Murray Collection; The Workhouses of Donegal; The GAA in Co. Donegal; Exotic and Eccentric Donegal; Donegal Archives of Emigration; Maps of Donegal; Elections & the Electorate; Ladies of Donegal. The exhibition is touring the county and is currently in Milford Public Service Centre.



‘Traditional Boats of Ireland’– The Dónal Mac Polin Collection

Boatbuilder and artist Donal MacPolin donated his entire lifework of beautiful illustrations and drawings, photographs and documentation on traditional boatbuilding, to Donegal County Archives in 2018. The County Museum in Letterkenny is currently displaying the archive of illustrations in its downstairs gallery.

October 2019

EYA Hashtags have been announced! Get planning and then get ready to get sharing during EYA 2019!

23/11     #SweetArchives              

Share something sweet – in taste or temperament – from your collections. And yes! #Archive Cake welcome!!!

24/11     #HairyArchives                

Back by (un)popular demand – share something hairy!

25/11     #FriendlyArchives           

Are you a friendly neighbourhood archivist? Celebrate friendliness in the sector and in your collections!

26/11     #SurprisingArchives      

Share something we wouldn’t expect to see in your collection!

27/11     #ActionArchives             

From physical movement to moving image, share action-inspired archives!

28/11     #ArchivesAtSea               

If nautical nonsense is something you wish, then share your best sea-worthy archives!

29/11     #MysteriousArchives     

Sometimes being an archivist requires some real detective work. Share your most mysterious material!

30/11     #ArchiveVoices               

Amplify the many voices present in your archive by sharing examples of language, diverse voices, and sound archives.

01/12     #WildArchives                 

Share something WILD from your collections!


Journalist and Presenter Anne Cassin, 2018 EYA Ambassador for ARA Ireland

(Photo Credit: Marc O'Sullivan)