Research and Special Collections Available Locally (RASCAL)
The RASCAL database offers researchers a pathway to Irish Studies resources throughout Ireland and beyond. It contains neat summary descriptions of Ireland related collections that include catalogue and website links to host institutions.
The interface and search capabilities have been recently revamped giving it a fresh modern appearance with intuitive searching. Following your initial search you can refine by subject, language, material type, geographic coverage, institution and collector.
The exact location of the institution or collection appears on an interactive map. Institutions and collections can be browsed for more serendipitous searching and similar collections are highlighted at the end of each collection page. There are currently 85 participating institutions and 475 collections, we are always looking to expand. Current institutions include: The Royal Irish Academy, Queen’s University Belfast, NUI Galway and the Linen Hall Library. Collection subject strengths on RASCAL are wide ranging and include literature, music, local studies, politics and education.
The new site can host multiple images for collections and institutions, allowing researchers to get a real feel for both. RASCAL is an open access resource, available to all researchers.
RASCAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS
The directory was originally developed in 2000 from a mapping project to create an electronic portal for research and special collections in Northern Ireland. Since then it has been expanded to include Ireland related resources throughout the island of Ireland. The most recent development has seen the database include Irish Studies collections from the United States of America. Reaching out to a country with such a large population of Irish diaspora was the natural next step and and greatly increases the reach of RASCAL.
RASCAL offers institutions another channel to promote collections locally, nationally and internationally. We aim to provide access to hidden collections as well as those that are more well-known and familiar for researchers and the general public. Collections not fully catalogued or listed can still feature as a summary description on RASCAL. All types of resources are welcome, including manuscripts, published books, archival documents, digital resources and maps. The homepage includes 3 featured collections which are changed on a regular basis and a carousel of featured institutions.
We would love to have more institutional members and encourage libraries, museums and archives to get in touch if they have Ireland related resources which they would like to include. There are no fees associated with participation. Just contact us at email@example.com if you are interested.