The Clarke Stained Glass Collection: A collaboration between a library, a national repository, Irish cultural institutions and the academic community

 The Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection is a collaborative project between the Library at Trinity College Dublin and the Digital Repository of Ireland. The project will digitise, catalogue and make accessible to researchers and the wider public the business archives and the designs for stained glass windows of the Clarke Stained Glass Studios, held in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library at Trinity College Dublin. The firm was founded by Joshua Clarke , father of the illustrator and stained glass artist Harry Clarke (1889-1931), ca. 1893. It was run by Harry Clarke between 1921 and his death in 1931, and continued in operation until 1973.

The collection will be available both through the Digital Collections site at Trinity College Dublin, and through the Digital Repository of Ireland.

This paper will discuss the range of strategies that are being used in the project to link the collection to other Harry Clarke and Clarke Studios-related resources, and reach out to interested researchers, creating a community of users, both within and outside Trinity College Dublin. So far, these strategies include liaising with academic departments in Trinity College so that the collection is used in teaching and in postgraduate research; developing formal proposals for collaboration with Irish cultural institutions to link related materials residing in separate collections; and organising a symposium on stained glass that will involve inviting the participants to use the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection online to inform the research papers they will deliver. The hope is that this will create a virtual user community, which can then be enhanced by face-to-face contact during the event. The symposium will include a session on the impact of digital collections on arts and humanities research in Ireland.

Marta Bustillo, Trinity College Dublin