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The Venue

Library & Archives

RDS Library & Archives Research Bursary

In 2020 the RDS Library & Archives will develop a research project focusing on the RDS Industry & Enterprise Archive to examine the work of the RDS in the development and promotion of Irish manufacturing and material culture throughout its history.

The RDS Library & Archives seeks expressions of interest from postgraduate researchers to complete a research study on a topic of interest within the RDS Industry & Enterprise Archive. A Bursary Judging Panel will award a research bursary of €10,000. As part of the bursary the recipient must complete a research paper for presentation at a relevant conference as well as a talk during the RDS Library Speaker Series 2020. The research paper must also be submitted for publication in an appropriate academic journal.

For queries relating to the 2020 bursary please contact the RDS Library librarydesk@rds.ie. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 31 January 2020.

RDS Industry & Enterprise Archive

The RDS Archives are the repository of an extensive collection of material relating to the history of Irish manufacturing and material culture. The advancement of manufactures (industry) in Ireland was one of the Society’s founding aims in 1731. During the 18th century the RDS supported large traditional industries, such as linen production, and small businesses and innovative start-ups, through the distribution of government grants and their own premium scheme. In the 19th and 20th centuries the Society focused its attention on the organisation of trade and manufacturing exhibitions featuring the best in Irish design from its homes in Leinster House and Ballsbridge. They also played a leading role in the delivery of other National and International exhibitions, including Dargan’s Great Exhibition of 1853 and the Manchester Exhibition of 1888.

 Material from the RDS Industry and Enterprise Archive includes:
• The manuscript and printed Proceedings of the RDS from 1731 onwards
• The 1762 book of petitions- applications for a share of a £10,000 government grant for Irish business
• Premium lists and pamphlets relating to Irish industry from the 18th century
• Minutes of the Committee of Manufactures and Industry from the mid-19th century onwards
• Correspondence and material relating to the Great Exhibition of 1853
• Correspondence and material relating to RDS exhibitions from the 1830s onwards
• Printed exhibition catalogues and prize schedules

The successful recipient of the RDS Library & Archives Research Bursary will be expected to:
• Produce a paper for a peer reviewed academic journal
• Present their research at a relevant academic conference
• Present their research in a talk for the RDS Library Speakers’ Series 2020.

Applicants should submit an academic CV and brief project proposal to librarydesk@rds.ie by Friday 31 January 2020.

In 2019 the RDS Library & Archives engaged in a research project focusing on the RDS Equestrian Archive. Following receipt of expressions of interest in January 2019 the RDS Library & Archives Bursary judging panel awarded the reserach bursary of €10,000 to Dr Sherra Murphy.

In 2018 the RDS Library & Archives engaged in a research project focusing on the RDS Craft Archive to examine the work of the RDS in the application of craft discoveries and techniques in Ireland. Following receipt of expressions of interest in January 2018 the RDS Library & Archives Bursary judging panel awarded the reserach bursary of €10,000 to Dr Claudia Kinmonth, MRIA. Dr Kinmonth presented her research paper at the Annual Conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society. She also presented her research as part of the RDS Library Speaker Series. Her paper entitled Rags, Riches & Recycling; the Dublin Society's encouragement of art & artefacts, 1731-1781’ has been accepted for publication in Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies in 2019.

In 2017 the RDS Library & Archives engaged in a research project focusing on the RDS Science Archive. Following receipt of expressions of interest in January 2017 the RDS Library & Archives Bursary judging panel awarded the reserach bursary of €10,000 to Dr Adrian Kirwan, NUI Maynooth. Dr Adrian Kirwan presented his research paper at the Annual Conference of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine Network Ireland, held in association with the RDS Library and Archives. The conference was held in the RDS Library on 13 & 14 October 2017.

In 2016 the Research Bursary was awarded to Dr Míchéal Ó Fáthartaigh to carry out research on the RDS Agriculture Archive. His research was presented at Remarkable Transformations: Reassessing the history of agriculture in Ireland, a one day conference organized by the RDS Library & Archives. The conference programme and video recordings of the presentations are available online.

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