Belfast Telegraph

New online archive of Northern Ireland Troubles

By Gillian Robinson

Accounts of the Conflict is a digital archiving project that will preserve and make available stories related to the conflict in, and about, Northern Ireland.

The project has been developed by Incore, the International Conflict Research Institute at the University of Ulster, and is funded from the European Union's Peace III programme.

Since the early years of the peace process, many individuals and groups have been engaged in processes which encourage the telling and sharing of their own personal experiences of the conflict.

Accounts of the Conflict will bring together a large number of individual stories collected by organisations in recent years. These accounts will be stored on servers at the university, thereby ensuring their long-term preservation and availability on the internet.

The project team are also developing a website that will provide full public access to the deposited stories and a wide-ranging catalogue of accounts that have previously been published, filmed or recorded.

While making these personal accounts widely and freely available is important, there is a need to ensure that those who contribute are fully informed as to what this entails.

Therefore, the Accounts of the Conflict team have been careful to set out exactly what the project is about and how the stories will be presented online.

A lot of time, effort and deliberation were invested in clarifying issues around informed consent, copyright and the presentation of the stories. The objective here was to be as transparent and vigilant to the needs and expectations of participants and story-collecting projects as possible.

The envisaged result of our efforts will be that users of the website and the people whose stories are included can be sure that they have and will continue to engage with a resource that is user-friendly, ethically considered and informed by academic research.

Professor Gillian Robinson is director of the ARK project at the University of UIster. Accounts of the Conflict is one of the featured projects at the Peace III conference at The Mac in Belfast today

Belfast Telegraph


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