Heritage Week is a week long celebration of natural, artistic and built Heritage of Ireland during which many local and national heritage organisations hold special events throughout the country.
Heritage Week 2021 runs from Saturday 14th August, 2021 to Sunday 22nd August, 2021. 
If you would like a Heritage Week event listed here please contact Communications and Campaigns officer Niamh Ni Charra
Archives that are featured during Heritage Week 2021 include:
Roscommon County Library Service

Roscommon County Library Service has worked with the County Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Society (CRHAS) to make the 14 volumes and the Index of the CRHAS Journal available online. All the journals have been scanned and over 200 individual articles and images have been extracted and are available to researchers, schools and to anyone interested in Roscommon’s rich local history. The official launch of this digital resource will be part of Heritage Week 2021 in Roscommon County Library.

The Irish Architectural Archive

Malton's Dublin - enjoy a trip through eighteenth-century Dublin in an eighteenth-century house on an eighteenth-century square at the latest exhibition at the Irish Architectural Archive following the completion of the upgrading of the gallery lighting system made possible by a Community Heritage Grant from the Heritage Council.


St Patrick's College Maynooth

"Opening the door to the archives of Maynooth College" - This project aims to raise awareness regarding research resources for those interested in the history of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, those who worked or studied there and the archives' collections that form its holdings. It can be viewed here.


The National Gallery

Glamour and Governance and the National Gallery – 19th August

Join Adrian le Harivel, curator of our current exhibition, Glamour and Governance, and Donna Rose (Fellow, ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art) for this special National Heritage Week 2021 event as they share selected dress examples from paintings, illustrations from the archives, and rare books.

This event is part of ‘Library Lates’, a series of informal talks and workshops highlighting materials from the Library and Archives of the National Gallery of Ireland. These free, after-hours events are currently taking place through Zoom. The event is free but booking is required. To reserve your place, email library@ngi.ie. 


Digital Repository of Ireland

Performing, Promoting, and Preserving Ireland’s Intangible Cultural Heritage - 19th August

A live online event co-organised by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Digital Repository of Ireland

What is intangible cultural heritage? Why is it important? How can it be protected? How can digital records of these practices help to pass them down to future generations? In December 2015, Ireland ratified the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural heritage ‘refers to the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage’. The National Inventory for Intangible Cultural Heritage has been established to protect, promote and celebrate Irish living cultural heritage practices, customs, crafts and traditions.

Join Manchán Magan online during Heritage Week 2021 for a lively evening of performance, exploration, and discussion on the theme of intangible cultural heritage. The Department will speak about the development of the National Inventory. Practitioners and performers from three performing arts will give insights into their practices and why they are important. The Digital Repository of Ireland will ask us to think about how the preservation of digital records can help to pass practices like these down to future generations. Manchán will then open the floor to questions, as you are invited to join with us in recognising and experiencing this important element of Ireland’s cultural heritage.


National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park

Treasures of the Strokestown Famine Archive virtual exhibit - 22nd August

The Treasures of the Strokestown Famine Archive virtual exhibit makes publicly accessible some of the most important archival records from the Great Hunger for the first time. It is comprised of four key themes and sections.

1) Strokestown assisted emigration scheme of the 1,490 shares the records of tenants from the estate who crossed the Atlantic on some of the worst of the coffin ships. They have been selected in by Professor Mark McGowan (University of Toronto) who discusses Denis Mahon’s assisted emigration scheme in 1847 in an educational video.
2) The second section focuses on the Assassination of the Landlord, Major Denis Mahon, and Secret Societies. Professor Christine Kinealy (Quinnipiac University) interprets these digitized archival records in this section’s educational video.
3) Digitized Petitions and Voices of the Dispossessed have been selected by Martin Fagan (Strokestown Park Archivist) and Dr Ciaran Reilly (Maynooth University) who elucidate and interpret them. Some of the most poignant records in the archive are the petitions from landless agricultural labourers and cottiers facing eviction and starvation who left few other traces of their existence. No other genre comes closer to capturing their voices.
4) Digitized Rental Books and Letters as selected by the Strokestown Park Archivist are explored in this section.


James Hardiman Library, NUI, Galway

Galway Tourist Literature, 1948-1988


Blog Marie Boran

The James Hardiman Library's collection of mid-20th century tourist literature relating to Galway City and county formed the basis for this project. Much of this material can be ephemeral and its survival can often be random. The chosen items demonstrate changes in services and information offered to tourists visiting Galway between the late 1940s and the 1980s. These examples also show developments in publishing and marketing of this type of information over the same time period. Most of these items were contained in collections donated to the library in the past 20 years. We are indebted to the donors whose names are listed on the last slide.


Also for #HeritageWeek2021 Dr. Barry Houlihan examines the rise of Cultural Tourism in Ireland from the 1950s in this article for RTÉ Brainstorm.

Louth County Archives Service

Drogheda Merchant Ledgers Display

For National Heritage Week 2021, Louth County Archives Service and the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society will hold an archival exhibition display. The highlight of the display will be three Drogheda merchant ledgers dating to 1723 – 1809.With the kind assistance of funding granted to the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society from the Heritage Council, the merchant ledgers recently received conservation treatment under the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2021.

The merchant ledgers were found in Piltown House, Drogheda, once home of businessman, Thomas Brodigan. County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society arranged for deposit of the volumes in the County Archives. Details of business transactions at the Brodigans’ grocery and tobacco shop in West Street can be found in two of the ledgers. The oldest ledger gives information on imports and exports of various ships that docked in Drogheda from 1723-31 and the outfitting of two ships for long-haul voyages: one to Barbados and the other to America.

The archival display will be open on Friday 20th August from 10am – 1pm. It is free and open to everyone. Reservations are not required. Visitors should wear a mask and follow HSE and Government health guidelines in relation to Covid-19.

Further information on the conservation project is available here.


Irish Traditional Music Archive

Positive Negatives: Unlocking the ITMA Image Collection

Maeve Gebruers

For National Heritage Week the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) will share online some wonderful images from its 2021 milestone collections: Cnuasach an Bhreathnaigh (the Breandán Breathnach Collection) & the Gráinne Yeats Collection.

ITMA’s unique image collection now stands at over 21,700 items. Many of these exist in obsolete physical formats only which limits access to this material to those who can visit the ITMA premises in Merrion Square, Dublin. This year the Heritage Council has awarded ITMA a grant to digitise, preserve and make accessible, to archival best practice, some 4,500+ slides, negatives and photographs from the collections of two highly significant figures in Irish traditional music: Breandán Breathnach (1912-1985) an uilleann piper, collector, publisher, writer and organiser & Gráinne Yeats (1925-2013) a professional harper, singer, teacher, arranger, historian and recorded artist. By supporting this project, the Heritage Council are enabling ITMA to safeguard these collections for current use and for future generations of Irish musicians. It is also assisting ITMA to provide responsible access to 1,000s of images through its digital library and in time through the ITMA archival catalogue.

This Heritage Week follow ITMA’s social media channels and check into our website on www.itma.ie to read about the progress which has been made on this important project and to see some of the images which have been digitised to date. Also read about these unique milestone collections and the people behind their creation.

Offaly Archives

Hidden treasures - Using Archives for Local history

A presentation by Lisa Shortall for Heritage Week.

This video 'Hidden treasures - using archives to explore local history' was made for individuals or groups who have not used local archives before, and can be viewed here. to view the the online catalogue for Offaly Archives click here.

Donegal Archives

Historian in Residence, Ben Rogers, will deliver a talk next Thursday 26th August 2021 at 7pm, online via Zoom, 'A Revolution in Government? Rural District Councils in Donegal, 1919-1925'.

More info here.

The Registry of Deeds

The Registry of Deeds will once again participate in National Heritage Week in 2021 with two online events and the launch of a brand new video on book-handling.

National Heritage Week 2021 is about getting as many people to enjoy heritage as possible. We want to connect with groups and individuals who may not traditionally feel connected to local heritage. Our lunch-time virtual events are aimed at those who have never previously visited the Registry of Deeds. We will provide you with information on the history of the Registry of Deeds and its Henrietta Street building, and how to search our collections.

Booking required: https://heritageweek2021registryofdeeds.eventbrite.ie

Did you know that the earliest volumes at the Registry of Deeds date from 1708? They were created using parchment and can weigh up to 14kg. Our video on book-handling will demonstrate how to carefully handle our records to ensure that they are preserved for future generations.  You are encouraged to watch the video in advance of making an appointment at the Registry of Deeds so that you are fully prepared for your first visit.

The Irish Film Institute

The IFI Player:

A virtual viewing room where audiences from across the globe can instantly access the rich collections housed in the IFI Irish Film Archive for free.

Launched in September 2016, the IFI Player is a virtual viewing room where audiences from across the globe can instantly access the rich collections housed in the IFI Irish Film Archive. The IFI Irish Film Archive collection spans 1897 to the present day, and the most important social, political and historical events of the last century are represented, enabling us to explore our cultural identity and connect with the past.The IFI Player is home to over 900 videos, you can browse and discover a wide range of movies, newsreels, travelogues, animations, feature films, public information films and documentaries, reflecting all aspects of indigenous amateur and professional production.


Heritage Week 2020 runs from Saturday 15th August, 2020 to Wednesday 26th August, 2020. 
Archives that are featured during Heritage Week 2020 include:

The Irish Architectural Archive

In conjunction with the Buildings of Ireland Charitable Trust, The Irish Architectural Archive will be delivering a short online lecture series exploring aspects of the two most recently published volumes in the Buildings of Ireland series, Central Leinster: Kildare, Laois and Offaly, by Dr Andrew Tierney (2019) and Cork City and County by Frank Keohane(2020). More information available here.

There will also be an opportunity to visit the exhibition Summarising Cities: European Squares and their Histories. Drone pictures by Cătălin D. Constantin recently installed in the first floor rooms of 45 Merrion Square. See here for more information.


Strokestown Park House/ National Famine Museum

For Heritage Week 2020, check out "Dead Time. Unlocking the Diary of Olive Pakenham Mahon, 1914", a ten minute audio/visual piece. Created and produced by actress Anne-Marie O'Sullivan of Enchanted Croí Theatre Company, and archivist Martin Fagan, Strokestown Park House / National Famine Museum, and the result of an ongoing collaboration between archivist and actress, it can be viewed here.


Louth County Council Archives

Louth County Council archives have made three projects available for this year's Heritage Week: County Louth School Archive Collections project featuring school collections donated to the archive; The Great Northern Railway Online Exhibition, a Cross Border archives project; and The Big House in County Louth Story Box


Oireachtas Library & Research Service

The Oireachtas Library has recently added two sets of digital archives to its online heritage collections, in time for Heritage Week.

The first is a collection of parliamentary bills from 1922 to 1996. The collection gives a fascinating view into the process of law-making in the Irish parliament throughout the 20th century. The second collection consists of the Dublin Gazette dating from 1750 to 1800. These publications were digitised a number of years ago as large bound volumes but have now been relaunched in the more user-friendly format of individual issues. Both collections can be viewed here


RCSI Library

Discover the Women on Walls collection at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences online via RSCI's social media channels throughout National Heritage Week. From 17th - 21st August, RCSI will create a virtual exhibition showcasing highlights from the collection, providing a platform to celebrate their contributions and raise the visibility of the role of women in healthcare. RCSI Library are putting together some exciting games and activities inspired by the project, to keep all ages entertained. (Watch out for their colouring competition and some fun trivia questions on social media over the week!)

They will end the week with a virtual tour of RCSI, welcoming the public into the college from the comfort of their own homes.

A full programme of events can be viewed here.


If you are planning an event for Heritage week which relates to the Archive Sector, and wish to have it listed here, please contact

ARA Ireland Communications Officer Niamh Ní Charra at niamhnicharra@gmail.com