“We were able to see the fruits of our work…” Mapping Maynooth and more as a summer intern

The last of our SPUR blogs reflecting on work in the summer of 2016 comes from Cora Mc Donagh, a third year studying history and classics. Cora is very interested in local history especially nineteenth century Dublin. Cora also has an interest in ancient Greek civilisation and its influence on Irish mythology and legends. Cora worked with her colleagues Daniel, Ryan and Keith at the Royal Irish Academy under the direction of Dr. Jacinta Prunty.

Cora McDonagh

Finally we got to see how all this research is collated and presented as we examined the completed town atlas publication for Maynooth. It is a fascinating collection of historical and modern maps alongside a directory of all the historical places of interest. It is published by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) and if you are curious to see what they look like they have their publication for Kilkenny online.  We spent a brilliant week with Jennifer Moore at the RIA where she taught us about the geographical information system GIS and how it is useful for examining historical maps. We got practical experience in looking at the atlas for Maynooth town and recorded the information from the directory for identifiable places. We then used various maps such as Rocque (1757) and Sherrard (1821) and the ordinance survey maps to research the co-ordinates for these historical buildings and landmarks.

These were then worked on by Rachel Murphy and she presented our work through an interactive map of Maynooth which will be launched online in the near future. Here we are at a demonstration of the GIS for Maynooth town.

We were able to see the fruits of our work as Rachel demonstrated the pop-ups with our recorded information as she investigated the highways and byways of Maynooth town both past and present. It was a great feeling to see our work on screen and to know that all our other research over the past six weeks might someday reach this point for our respective suburbs.

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