Reuse of TII Open Data reaps reward

In June 2017, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in collaboration with the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) and the Discovery Programme formally launched the TII Digital Heritage Collections. The Collections currently include 2,228 archaeological excavation reports and 177 archaeo-geophysical reports, as well as seminar papers, audio books and videos. The DRI has digitally preserved all of this material and it is freely available to researchers and the public to download and reuse.

TII is delighted to relate that field archaeologist Jennifer McCarthy was presented with the inaugural DRI Early Career Award in September 2019 for a submission that draws significantly on excavation reports made available through the TII Digital Heritage Collections. Jennifer’s research on the reinterpretation of Ballyvergan West AR26—a Middle to Late Bronze Age settlement site excavated on the route of the N25 Youghal Bypass—was conducted as part of her MA thesis at UCC in 2016–17.  The competition, which comes with a €500 bursary from the DRI, was open to early career researchers in the areas of arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Earlier this month, Jennifer published a blog post on the DRI website that gives further detail on her research. This research and the DRI Early Career Award is confirmation of the importance of digital dissemination through the TII Digital Heritage Collections. Jennifer underscored this point in the closing paragraph of her blog, stating that ‘dissemination of final excavation reports is critical to the discipline, enabling researchers to continually develop and explore new possibilities. Resources like the Digital Repository of Ireland enable just this and pave the way for open source material to be shared and used’.

Further information on Ballyvergan West AR26 and the other sites excavated on the Youghal Bypass can be found in Generations: the archaeology of five national road schemes in County Cork edited by Ken Hanley and Maurice F Hurley (published 2013).