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About DRI

About the Repository

As a trusted national infrastructure for Ireland’s social and cultural heritage, we preserve, curate, and provide sustained access to a wealth of Ireland’s humanities and social sciences data. When you explore or search the repository, you are entering a world of rich content that reflects and shapes a broad portrait of Ireland.

Through this single portal, you can view historical and contemporary content from across institutions, domains, and formats. From the same search window, you can browse artworks and hear fascinating life histories, read cherished old letters and listen to music and archived broadcasts, or dig through business records and ephemera. There are sound files, sharp and luscious photographs, videos, historical documents, high quality images, publications, and more.

We have created this repository with two central purposes: to preserve Ireland’s digital heritage for the long term, and to provide you, the user, with access to that heritage. Please enjoy browsing and searching the available content.

DRI was awarded the Core Trust Seal in 2018, building on our established role as a Trusted Digital Repository (TDR).

the wealth of collections available on DRI

Who we are

The Digital Repository of Ireland is a research organisation with staff members from a wide variety of backgrounds, including software engineers, designers, digital archivists and librarians, data curators, digital imaging experts, policy and requirements specialists, educators, programme and project managers, social scientists and humanities scholars. DRI was originally built by a research consortium of six academic partners working together to deliver the repository, policies, guidelines and training. Core academic institutions continue to manage the repository and implement its policies, guidelines and training. These are the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Maynooth University (MU). 

DRI is also supported by a network of academic, cultural, social, and industry partners, including the National Library of Ireland (NLI), the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) and RTÉ. Originally awarded €5.2M from the Higher Education Authority PRTLI Cycle 5 for the period of 2011-2015, DRI has also received awards from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, The European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Ireland Funds. From 2016 onwards DRI has a core funding stream from the Department of Education and Skills via the Higher Education Authority and the Irish Research Council. 

Connect with DRI

There are two routes an organisation may take to gain deposit authorisation for the DRI Repository. An organisation may decide to become a DRI member or instead utilise the expertise and domain knowledge of an existing DRI member. The route taken depends upon your organisation and subject domain. You can review our membership policy and procedure here - DRI Membership Policy (March 2018). DRI are happy to advise on the approach that best suits your needs.

However, whichever route your organisation takes it is important to review the DRI Guide to Deposit which will guide you through the various pre and post deposit processes. For a more comprehensive overview of the information in this Guide, including how-to videos, see the Depositor Manual at

Mission and Vision


The Digital Repository of Ireland is a trusted national infrastructure for the preservation, curation and dissemination of Ireland’s humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage data.


The Digital Repository of Ireland is a national service for the long-term digital preservation of Ireland’s humanities, social science, and cultural heritage resources.
DRI is a trusted digital repository (TDR), providing online access to a wealth of digital resources across multiple domains for students, scholars and the public.
DRI actively engages in the development of policy, is a significant contributor to European policy on Open Science. and is an internationally recognised leader in digital archiving and repository infrastructure. 

DRI Code of Ethics

DRI published a Code of Ethics in August 2015, it can accessed at this link.

Structure of DRI

The principal governance structure of the DRI is its Board. The current DRI Board was appointed in 2017 following a call for nominations that was open to all DRI Members. Appointees were ratified by the Executive Committee of the Royal Irish Academy, and serve 3-year terms.

The principal management mechanism of the DRI is the Management Team (MT). The MT is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the DRI in addition to developing the DRI strategy, coordination, and delivering the project. The CIT is comprised of the DRI Director (Chair), DRI Principal Investigators and Institutional representatives, with the DRI Programme Manager in RIA providing the secretariat.

Implementation Areas 


The technical team is responsible for developing and maintaining the overall software architecture for the repository. The DRI is an online distributed repository with a modern software design pattern that supports the isolation of the software logic, data architecture and user interfaces, thereby allowing simultaneous parallel development of the system components. These include a suite of configurable, bilingual (Irish/English), multi-modal, multi-access, customisable and accessible user interfaces.

The data is stored in an intelligent, federated and distributed storage service coupled with storage service software to enable access to the infrastructure through the data management layer. This fundamental storage layer holds all data objects and associated metadata and is a secure, scalable, resilient, storage infrastructure capable of supporting multiple independent, preservable data layer implementations.


The main remit for DRI Policy is to develop robust policies and guidelines conforming with international best practice concerning protocols for data generation and preparation for archiving, documentation, preservation, copyright, intellectual property, privacy, ethics, consent, anonymisation, access, re-use rights, sharing rights and termination of agreements.

Education and Outreach

DRI is engaged in a number of education and outreach initiatives, including a Training Programme designed to train stakeholders in working with the repository, as well as direct engagement with the public in the form of events, newsletters and online communications.


1. Requirements

Before launching DRI, an extensive requirements analysis was conducted.necessary. The process was the result of an extensive consultation process consulting with relevant stakeholders, with the international academic advisory board, and amongst between partner institutions to ensure that the design and implementation of the DRI architecture and underpinning policy and guidelines were grounded in concrete, demonstrable authentic user requirements. Areas of importance included digital curation practices, evaluation and adoption of metadata standards with respect to Irish/English language metadata standards and common file media formats

The results of this process was the development of requirements analysis, policies and guidelines. The current required specifications of the DRI can be found at this link. It describes the technical, structural and business requirements that have been designed and implemented since the start of the project. These policies and guidelines are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

2. Business Models

The Business Model Taskforce is developing a sustainable business model based on national and international best practice which will enable DRI to fulfill its mandate as a Trusted Digital Repository  for social science and humanities data, now and into the future.

3. Metadata

The Metadata Task Force oversees and steers the successful implementation of metadata deliverables. The Task Force’s role is to help manage and resolve a range of metadata-specific issues that DRI will need to address during the lifecycle of the project. The Metadata Task Force advises on the policy and technical issues pertaining to the ingestion of data into DRI and is responsible for our series of Metadata Guidelines publications, and for ensuring the operability of internationally recognised metadata standards in the Repository.

4. TDR

DRI’s Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) Taskforce is responsible for ensuring that the Repository is compliant with the requirements for being a Trusted Digital Repository. This includes the complies with the requirements of the Data Seal of Approval, which DRI was granted in 2015, as well as other certification frameworks such as TRAC and ISO 16363 which the DRI aims to achieve in the future..

5. Workflows

DRI’s Workflows Taskforce is responsible for defining the user interfaces and workflows necessary to interact with the system in order to ingest material into the Repository, or to access that material.monitoring and developing the technical processes of ingestion of material into the Repository.

6. Business Records

The Business Records taskforce develops and implements good record-keeping practices within DRI, with reference to records management best practices and legal obligations.

7. Publications Committee

DRI’s Publications Committee is responsible for coordinating the development of our Publications, including guidelines, reports, factsheets, policy documents and others. The Committee oversees the process by which publications are written, edited, designed and published.


DRI Requirements Specifications

This document details the current required specifications of the DRI, at time of publication. It describes the technical, structural and business requirements that have been designed and implemented since the start of the project. It can be accessed at this link.

History of DRI


The Digital Repository of Ireland launched on 24 June 2015. It was built by a research consortium of six academic partners working together to deliver the repository, policies, guidelines and training. These research consortium partners are: Royal Irish Academy (RIA, lead institute), National University of Ireland, Maynooth (now Maynooth University or MU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and National College of Art and Design (NCAD). Core academic institutions (RIA, TCD and MU) continue to manage the repository and implement its policies, guidelines and training. DRI was awarded the Data Seal of Approval in 2015, superseded by the Core Trust Seal award in 2018.