The art of the possible (being revised 26|06|2015)
www.curator.ie is about making things happen, in collaboration with others and with a commitment to innovation and excellence.
www.curator.ie was established by Ciarán Walsh in 2010 as a vehicle for innovative curatorial projects with a strong educational component and a collaborative ethos. In 2011 Walsh developed the ‘Irish Headhunter’ project in association with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhoir (The Great Blasket Centre), the Office of Public Works (OPW) and The Heritage Council of Ireland.
Further research on the Irish Ethnographic Survey(1891-1903) led to the setting up of the ‘Haddon in Ireland’ project in association with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Cambridge), TCD and Maynooth University. This project secured funding from the Irish Research Council in 2015.
Since then Ciarán Walsh has worked as a postgraduate researcher with Maynooth University (Anthropology PhD Programme) under Dr Mark Maguire in association with Prof. Martina Hennessy of the School of Medicine, TCD. The research is focussed on the records of the Irish Ethnographic Survey which operated out of the Anatomy Dept. in TCD between 1891 and 1903.
The Irish Ethnographic Survey was an attempt to reveal the origins of the Irish ‘race’ undertaken by scientists from Ireland and the UK between 1891 and 1903. Among them was the famous A. C. Haddon. This was the beginning of ‘scientific’ Anthropology but it was overshadowed by subsequent developments in Cambridge. The records were ‘lost,’ dispersed over collections in Ireland and the UK where they have remained uncatalogued and largely overlooked for around 120 years.
The primary aim is to reconstruct that archive and place it in the public domain. The central question is how that can be achieved, given that the material is spread over a dozen institutions in 4 jurisdictions. We will look to the latest interactive technology for solutions. We propose to create a transnational network that digitally links collections Dublin, Cambridge, London, Edinburgh and Belfast.
The contemporary significance of this project is enormous. The Survey’s attempt to trace the origins of the Irish people continues with the genetic study of populations. This project will reconnect both and the transnational component will add enormously to the impact of the project on the public construction of anthropological knowledge and, indeed, the role that played in the historical configuration of Irish identity.
www.curator.ie is managed by Ciarán Walsh.
It was designed by Rob Condon of Kerrynet Solutions.