Wednesday, 17 June 2015

'Performing the Archive' conference, NUI Galway, 22-24 July

The Hardiman Library counts among its holding an unrivalled array of Irish theatre archives spanning from the late 19th century to present day. With major archives including Druid Theatre, Thomas Kilroy, Arthur Shields, Siobhan McKenna, the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. The Abbey Theatre digital archive, the largest theatre archive digitization project in the world, comprising more than 1 million items including scripts, costume designs, prompt books and performances is also available to study for generations of scholars to come at the Hardiman Library.

Capitalising on this expertise, 'Performing the Archive' is an international conference taking place from 22-24 July 2015 at NUI Galway and will gather together academics, researchers, artists, archivists and librarians engaged in working with archival materials on research and performance projects to explore the uses and possibilities of the archive today from theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Keynote speakers include Patrick Lonergan and Lionel Pilkington of NUI Galway, Catherine Cole of University of California, Berkeley, Doug Reside, New York Public Library, Tracey C. Davis, Northwestern University, Chicago, Hugh Denard, Trinity College Dublin and Emilie Pine, University College Dublin.

The conference will feature over eighty speakers, representing thirteen countries over the three days. Key themes of the conference will include the status of archival research methodologies in published research and graduate training today; how has digitisation changed our access to theatre archives; case studies of theatre artists using archives in new work, the possibilities of collaboration between researchers and practitioners; how has digital humanities begun to reshape the possibilities of archival engagement?; how has the cataloguing of new/recent archives contributed to new learning and change? as well as the craft of the playwright: drafting, editing and writing for stage or radio as represented in the archives.

The conference will also include staged readings of historic and previously unknown scripts from the archives by students from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance of NUI Galway. Other events will include a series of thematic workshops, book launches of new leading publications as well as excursions to events at the Galway International Arts Festival.

The full conference programme and schedule is available at

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