Archiving the 8th is a research and networking project that emerged in 2018 following the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution on 25 May 2018, which overturned the constitutional ban on abortion in Ireland. As a collective of archivists, academics and activists, our ambition is to support nationwide efforts to archive, collect, and research issues concerning women’s reproductive health and rights, spanning the two abortion referenda in Ireland (1983-2018).
This website provides advice and recommendations for individuals wishing to donate or preserve materials related to the 8th Amendment. We offer a guide to the organisations currently collecting material in Ireland and internationally, including organisational records, political ephemera, websites/digital material and visual/material culture. We have also developed a dynamic research bibliography, protocols and guides for material conservation/donation, resources on ‘rapid response’ collecting, as well as guides for undertaking oral histories related to the 8th.
Our aim is to promote the work of new and established scholars researching in this field; support and develop protocols for collecting material related to women’s health; and consolidate and expand research on reproductive rights, archiving, activism and “arctivism” for use in future research, exhibitions, and learning. In support of this, Archiving the 8th has built on the core values of the Archives and Records Association of Ireland, the Irish Community Archive Network, and the Oral History Network of Ireland, to ground this project in an ethical framework that prioritises a holistic grassroots engagement, informed by professional expertise.
This project has been led by a volunteer steering committee of experts in archives, digital preservation, data science, museum studies, heritage, and history. Please also visit our sister project, run by the Digital Repository of Ireland, focused on the digital preservation of: Archiving Reproductive Health.
We are grateful to the Wellcome Foundation for their funding in support of this website and our programme of activities. This webpage is hosted and updated by the School of Art History and Cultural Policy at University College Dublin.
Contact us: For more details or information, please email us.
- Dr Maeve O’Brien, Research Co-Ordinator, Archiving the 8th
- Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald, Principal Investigator, School of Art History and Cultural Policy, University College Dublin
- Dr Natalie Harrower, Digital Repository of Ireland
- Dr Kate Antosik-Parsons, Trinity College Dublin / Dublin Bay North Repeal the 8th
- Ms Victoria Darragh, Independent historian
- Ms Gina O’Kelly, Irish Museums Association
- Dr Aileen O’Carroll, Irish Qualitative Data Archive/ Digital Repository of Ireland
- Dr Linda Doran, University College Dublin
- Ms Kate Manning, University College Dublin Archives
- Ms Orna Somerville, University College Dublin Archives
- Dr Lisa Godson, National College of Art and Design
- Dr Lorraine Grimes, National University of Ireland, Maynooth/ Digital Repository of Ireland
- Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, National University of Ireland, Galway
- Dr Mary McAuliffe, University College Dublin
- Ms Amy Walsh, Termination for Medical Reasons Ireland
- Dr Sinéad Kennedy, National Executive, Together for Yes/ Maynooth University
- Ms Emma Clarke, Trinity College Dublin
- Ms Estelle Gittins, Trinity College Dublin Library
- Ms Clare Lanigan, Digital Repository of Ireland