The aim of the Celtic Digital Initiative (CDI) is to make scarce resources available in an electronic format to students and scholars, both within UCC and beyond. This initiative has been jointly funded by the Department of Early and Medieval Irish and by the Quality Promotion Unit (from its Quality Improvement Fund) and is an ongoing project; material is continually added to the site as time and finances allow.

There are four major sections: Images (digitised pictures of interest to Celticists), Text Archive (links to PDF files of rare material), Celtic Noticeboard (an area devoted to announcements of forthcoming conferences, events, vacancies, publications etc.) and Celtic journals (tables of contents of Celtic Studies journals).

In the field of Celtic Studies, we are particularly fortunate in having good digital textual resources. Within Medieval Irish Studies, for example, we have the Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language; two wonderful manuscript sites: Early Manuscripts at Oxford University and Meamram Páipéar Ríomhaire / Irish Scripts on Screen; and two excellent sites focused on texts: Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae and Celt: Corpus of Electronic Texts.

However, the standard editions of many of the texts available on these sites, along with detailed studies of them, are often only preserved in hard-to-access books and journals, many of which are out of print. Providing this material in electronic format completes the set of digital tools necessary for a thorough examination of our medieval literary culture in the Irish language; the case is similar for sources in the other Celtic languages.

What is ultimately needed is a complete digital archive which can accommodate the main Celtic Studies journals along with the many important books, monographs and periodicals which are out of print or difficult to access. Ideally, such a digital resource would be self-financing by relying on subscriptions from libraries and individual scholars, and would be able to generate income to help to keep the archive up to date. The Celtic Digital Initiative is a small first step in this direction, showing how such a resource might function within Celtic Studies.

Kevin Murray/Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh
Roinn na Sean- agus na Meán-Ghaeilge

This article is copyright © CDI 2016