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National University of Ireland
Ollscoil Náisiúnta na hÉireann, Corcaigh



The Issue

Of every one hundred people who claim Irish ancestry today, only seven live in Ireland. The remainder, more than seventy million people, constitute the global Irish Diaspora. Information about the Irish world-wide is as scattered as the peoples themselves. This makes it very difficult for people, whether members of that community or scholars, to trace their own stories or to engage in academic research.

ERIN – The Irish Migration Gateway

The Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) at the Ulster-American Folk Park, Co. Tyrone, and the Irish Centre for Migration Studies (ICMS) at University College Cork, have decided jointly to launch the Emigration Resources Information Network (ERIN) – the Irish Migration Gateway. The aim will be to provide a web-based resources directory offering a comprehensive information gateway to scholars and all others interested in Irish emigration and migration issues.

Several models for this type of internet-based information gateway exist in other fields, notably CAINConflict Archive on the Internet, at the University of Ulster, the IASIL (International Association for the Study of Irish Literature) bibliographical database, also at the University of Ulster, and ERCOMER, an international database on world-wide migration, at the University of Utrecht.

The website, which will be fully searchable, will offer the following:

  • Background information, data, maps and charts on Irish migration
  • A multi-disciplinary bibliographical database of secondary sources on Irish migration, compiled from the library holdings of the Boole Library, University College Cork, and from other library holdings
  • A catalogue of primary sources on Irish migration at University College Cork and at the Centre for Migration Studies, Ulster American Folk Park (this will be expanded later to encompass other resources in both regions)
  • A directory of relevant courses and programmes offered in Irish and other universities at undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • A directory of researchers in the field
  • A directory of postgraduate migration research in progress in Irish and other universities
  • A directory of community and other organisations working with Irish migrants and with immigrants in Ireland
  • Information on conferences and seminars
  • A discussion forum for people with an interest in Irish migration issues
  • A full-text database hosting on-line texts on Irish migration
  • An on-line sound archive on Irish migration
  • An on-line photographic archive on Irish migration
  • A directory of arts and cultural resources relevant to Irish migrants
  • A gateway to other relevant websites and other Irish and international migration resources

Why Omagh and Cork? An integrated North-South initiative

There are two dedicated migration and emigration research centres in the island of Ireland. The Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) at the Ulster-American Folk, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, is located appropriately at the family homestead of the Mellon family, founders of the famous Pittsburgh bank. Its holdings and exhibits cover all periods of Irish emigration, with a special focus on 18th century emigration to frontier America. CMS Omagh also teaches Irish Migration Studies at Masters level in partnership with Queen's University Belfast. The Irish Centre for Migration Studies (ICMS) is located in the National University of Ireland, Cork. Cork and Cobh were the major ports of emigration, especially from southern and western Ireland, for well over a century. The Centre has a particular interest in post-Famine emigration and in contemporary migration issues; the University has a strong record of teaching, research and conference organisation in these and related fields.

It is appropriate, therefore, that the two Centres should now embark upon an integrated initiative in this field. Between them, they are well placed to adopt a comprehensive approach to the field. Over time, the Gateway will become the essential port of call for anyone with any interest in the field.


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Migration Studies at the Department of Geography, University College Cork/Roinn an Tíolais, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh
Tel/Guthán 353 21 4902889 email/post leictreonach migration@ucc.ie