Research Profile

Elaine Harrington

Biography

I have over ten years’ experience connecting people with information and teaching them to think critically about such information. I have a postgraduate qualification in Library & Information Science with a MA in English & a BA in English & French. My research interests include how the use emerging technologies in a Special Collections' context may provide different collaborative opportunities, and the role of sound in libraries. 

I am a founding member of Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project which was a finalist at the Education Awards, Ireland in 2019. 

I was selected for CONUL's Training & Development research award in 2019 for the research project "Listening to Libraries’ Sounds Today for the Library of Tomorrow". 

I present at local and national academic, library, IT, TEL and DH conferences on the various ways users engage with Special Collections’ services and collections, and the necessary skills that are required for effective engagement.   

Research Interests

I am particularly interested in how emerging technologies allow for collaboration in a Special Collections' context. This has prompted two different research projects relating to sound. 

The Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project
Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project is an interdisciplinary research project between staff members in the Dept. of Music, and in Special Collections, UCC Library, both of University College Cork. The SHOCC Project was launched following two years of pilot proof of concept when the project formed part of the coursework the MA module MU6031: Studies in Sound Study & Musicology during 2016-2018. Between April 2018 to the present the SHOCC Project has explored the relationships between sound, space, and history. By using archival and historical sources, including letters, diaries, travel narratives, maps, and almanacs, the SHOCC Project team investigates what locations and spaces in Cork City might have sounded like in various moments in the city’s rich historical past. The project team gives Cork’s people opportunities to engage creatively with the city’s histories through soundscapes (made accessible by smartphone technology). In addition, the SHOCC Project has developed an online tool, SoundCatcher, to enable Cork’s residents and visitors to contribute to the city’s sonic history. Through engaging Cork City’s public in the sonic histories of the city, the SHOCC Project aims not only to teach people about Cork City’s fascinating past and present, but also to encourage people to think critically about the spaces in which they live, and to consider how social, political, environmental, and artistic factors have contributed to how Cork City sounded in the past and how it might sound in the future.  A key part of the project is to preserve a sonic record for historians of the future to study.
https://shoccproject.wordpress.com/

“Listening to Libraries’ Sounds Today for the Library of Tomorrow”
I was selected for CONUL’s Training & Development 2018-2020 Research Award for “Listening to Libraries’ Sounds Today for the Library of Tomorrow” research project. In this project I will investigate how in libraries ‘noise’ and not ‘sound’ is perceived. Many libraries only study the negative aspects of noise including the impact of noise on users and subsequent noise management interventions without studying how libraries can use sound in non-negative contexts whether in exhibitions or as sound installations across the library environment. The project will also investigate mapping sound, a key part of ethnographic research. This project has stemmed from my work on the Sonic Histories of Cork City Project. On this project, with John Hough of the Dept. of Music, we created two library soundscapes but no 19th or early-mid 20th century sound recordings exist of UCC. I needed to infer from textual and visual evidence what sounds might have been present in order to create a historical soundscape for the library in 1882. As Special Collections Librarian I am that what is collected or not collected shapes the library of the future. I will identify possible collaborative international soundscape opportunities for CONUL libraries and the possibilities for preserving the mapped sounds as a collection for future research.

Publications

Web Page

 YearPublication
(2018)The Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project.
Dr Jillian Rogers, Elaine Harrington & John Hough (2018) The Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project. Web Page   [Details]

Dictionary Entries

 YearPublication
(2016)Entry for University College Cork Library.
Elaine Harrington (2016) Entry for University College Cork Library. London: Dictionary Entries [Details]

Radio Feature

 YearPublication
(2018)The Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project at Culture Night & Cork Discovers.
Elaine Harrington (2018) The Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project at Culture Night & Cork Discovers. Radio Feature   [Details]
(2017)UCC Library’s Special Collections.
Elaine Harrington (2017) UCC Library’s Special Collections. Radio Feature   [Details]

Blog

 YearPublication
(2015)Preservation Book Cleaning - Report on ANTLC course.
Elaine Harrington (2015) Preservation Book Cleaning - Report on ANTLC course. Blog   [Details]
(2015)Digital Preservation: Not Just Clouds & Unicorns.
Elaine Harrington (2015) Digital Preservation: Not Just Clouds & Unicorns. Blog   [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2018CONUL Training & Development Research Award CONUL

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Library Association of Ireland Member05-JUN-12 /
CILIP Member05-JUN-12 /

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2019)National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education: Evolving Identities: Collaboration to Enhance Student Success,
Elaine Harrington (2019) “Let’s Go On A Bear Hunt: Special Collections in the Wild.”. [Invited Oral Presentation], National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education: Evolving Identities: Collaboration to Enhance Student Success, Dundalk, Ireland . [Details]
(2019)Academic & Special Libraries Group of Libraries Association of Ireland Annual Conference: Library; Space, Place, or State of Mind?,
Elaine Harrington & John Hough (2019) “Sound Out! Connecting the Library & the City Through Space, Time & Space.”. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Academic & Special Libraries Group of Libraries Association of Ireland Annual Conference: Library; Space, Place, or State of Mind?, Dublin, Ireland . [Details]
(2018)Digital Humanities Research Colloquium,
Elaine Harrington (2018) Destroying and Creating the Library of the Future. (Digital Arts & Humanities Research Colloquium. [Invited Oral Presentation], Digital Humanities Research Colloquium, UCC, Ireland . [Details]
(2018)Sound Sound Day,
Elaine Harrington, Dr Jillian Rogers & John Hough (2018) Launch of Sonic Histories of Cork City [SHOCC] Project. [Oral Presentation], Sound Sound Day, University College Cork, Ireland . [Details]
(2017)Consortium of National and University Libraries Annual Conference,
Elaine Harrington & Dr Jillian Rogers (2017) Mapping Sound ‘Off the Map’ at UCC: The Potential of Collaboration Between the Library’s Special Collections and the Musicology Department. [Oral Presentation], Consortium of National and University Libraries Annual Conference, Athlone, Ireland . [Details]
(2017)Digital Humanities Research Colloquium,
Elaine Harrington (2017) Preserving the Library of the Future. [Invited Oral Presentation], Digital Humanities Research Colloquium, UCC, Ireland . [Details]
(2017)(Irish Association of Art Historians Annual Seminar,
Elaine Harrington (2017) Resources for Art History in UCC Library’s Special Collections & Archives. [Oral Presentation], (Irish Association of Art Historians Annual Seminar, Edward Worth Library, Dublin . [Details]
(2017)Consortium of National and University Libraries: Teaching & Learning Annual Seminar,
Elaine Harrington (2017) Object Based Research Learning As Used By 1st Year Music & History Students. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Consortium of National and University Libraries: Teaching & Learning Annual Seminar, Dublin, Ireland . [Details]
(2017)HEAnet National Conference: Digital Transformation for Education & Research,
Elaine Harrington (2017) Space, The Final Frontier: Next Generation Special Collections. [Oral Presentation], HEAnet National Conference: Digital Transformation for Education & Research, Galway, Ireland . [Details]
(2016)Academic & Special Libraries Group of Libraries Association of Ireland Annual Conference: The Inside Out Library; Collaboration, Inspiration, Transformation,
Elaine Harrington (2016) “Gollum & the Librarians: What Is Really Precious.”. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Academic & Special Libraries Group of Libraries Association of Ireland Annual Conference: The Inside Out Library; Collaboration, Inspiration, Transformation, Dublin, Ireland . [Details]
(2016)Consortium of National and University Libraries Annual Conference,
Elaine Harrington, Susie Bioletti and Felicity O'Mahony (2016) Gathered Together – A Survey of the Unique and Distinct Collections Held by CONUL. [Oral Presentation], Consortium of National and University Libraries Annual Conference, Athlone, Ireland . [Details]
(2015)Consortium of National and University Libraries: Teaching & Learning Annual Seminar,
Elaine Harrington (2015) “Venn Diagrams: When Special Collections Meets Information Literacy.”. [Oral Presentation], Consortium of National and University Libraries: Teaching & Learning Annual Seminar, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland . [Details]
(2015)HEAnet National Conference: Agents for Change in e-Infrastructure and Shared Services,
Elaine Harrington (2015) “Archiving The Social Media Presence of ‘The River-side.’”. [Oral Presentation], HEAnet National Conference: Agents for Change in e-Infrastructure and Shared Services, Cork, Ireland . [Details]
(2015)Library Association of Ireland LibCamp,
Elaine Harrington (2015) “There & Back Again: Borrowing & Lending Items for an Exhibition.”. [Oral Presentation], Library Association of Ireland LibCamp, Dublin, Ireland . [Details]
(2015)Consortium of National and University Libraries Annual Conference,
Elaine Harrington (2015) “A Guide Not A Sage: Respect Not Fear For Undergraduates Using Special Collections”. [Oral Presentation], Consortium of National and University Libraries Annual Conference, Athlone, Ireland . [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
CACSSS Library Committee Member2019 /
CONUL Sub-Committee for Unique & Distinct Collections Deputy Chair2017 /
Library Association of Ireland Member2013 /
CONUL Sub-Committee on Collections, Preservation & Conservation. Member2013 /

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Library, University College Cork Library Assistant19-JUN-06 / 23-NOV-12
Library, University College Cork Special Collections Librarian26-NOV-12 /

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2016University College Cork PG Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher EducationEducation
2002University College Cork Masters in ArtsEnglish
2012University of Aberystwyth H. Dip. in Library & Information ScienceLibrary & Information Science
2000University College Cork BAEnglish & French
2008University College Cork Advanced Certificate in ArtsIrish
2001University College Cork H. Dip. in EducationEducation

Languages

 LanguageReadingWritingSpeaking
German BasicBasicBasic
French FluentFluentFunctional
Irish FluentFluentFunctional

Outreach Activities

 Description

Co-presenter of "Shock and Awe: Some Historical Sounds of Cork City." Presented with Dr Jillian Rogers & John Hough (Dept. of Music, UCC). Launch of the Sonic Histories of Cork City website constructed by Dr Jillian Rogers, Elaine Harrington & John Hough with contributions from MU6031 students: https://shoccproject.wordpress.com/

Co-presented "SHOCC Project SoundCatcher Workshop" @UCC Sound Sound Day / Cork Sound Fair with Dr Jillian Rogers and John Hough (Dept of Music, UCC)

Co-presenter of "SHOCC Waves: Mapping Sound in Cork City Past and Present” with Dr Jillian Rogers (Dept. of Music, UCC). Launch of SoundCatcher online sounds of contemporary Cork collection tool created by Elaine Harrington & John Hough: https://shoccproject.wordpress.com/soundcatcher/

A series of posts about research collections, projects and events in Special Collections, Archives & Repository Services, UCC Library. http://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/ The focus is the Library’s unique & distinctive collections including older printed books, manuscripts, archive collections, & electronic publications available via CORA, UCC’s Institutional Repository. The River-side welcomes guest posts from staff members & students and I co-ordinate this activity. I regularly publish posts on this blog: http://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/author/eharrington/

I co-curate with Emer Twomey and Emma Horgan the Twitter account that complements The River-side Blog: @theriversideUCC

Online student exhibition titled ‘The Book of Kells: Images and Text’ launched online on 26 May 2017 on UCC Library’s River-side portal as part of the HI6091 skills-based MA in Medieval History module conducted in collaboration with Dr Malgorzata Krasnodebska - D'Aughton, School of History, UCC; http://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/2017/05/26/introduction-the-book-of-kells-student-exhibition-ma-in-medieval-history/.

Online student exhibition titled ‘The Luttrell Psalter: Knighthood, Hospitality and Piety ' launched online on 14 January 2019 on UCC Library’s River-side portal as part of the HI6091 skills-based MA in Medieval History module conducted in collaboration with Dr Malgorzata Krasnodebska - D'Aughton, School of History, UCC; http://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/tag/luttrell-psalter/

Curated online exhibition using items from Special Collections for Harry Potter: Behind the Stories. Online exhibition launched in October 2016L https://libguides.ucc.ie/harrypotter Blog Post: http://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/2016/10/28/behind-stories-harry-potter-river-side/ Colouring sheets launched in October 2018: https://libguides.ucc.ie/ld.php?content_id=32014297 https://libguides.ucc.ie/ld.php?content_id=32014295

I co-curate with Dr Jillian Rogers & John Hough the social media that complements The Sonic Histories of Cork City Project website: @SHOCCProjectUCC (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram)

Other Activities

 Description

2017 Erasmus+ Programme Visit Abroad to Cardiff University Library's Special Collections & Archives to examine artists' books from Ron King in the Circle Press. King is one of artists’ books most influential
practitioners. This visit examined the conditions for storing, preservation and accessing the material, how technology is used to enhance teaching, learning and research, as well as the methods for initial and continued promotion of the collection. This visit would also strengthen the existing relationship between UCC Library and Cardiff University respective Special Collections departments. 

Managed loan of The Orphan of the Rhine from UCC Library to the British Library for the exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination. The exhibition celebrated the 250th anniversary of the publication of The Castle of Otranto, the first Gothic novel. The Orphan of the Rhine was satirised by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey

The exhibition was live: 3 October 2014 - 20 January 2015. It was viewed by 48,120 visitors.

The loan involved descriptive, preservation, legal and security concerns for loan and return of The Orphan of the Rhine. For more about this see the blog post: The Orphan of the Rhine: Lending to the British Library

Managed loan of two Irish language manuscripts from Maynooth University to UCC Library for Paper Manuscript Colloquium May 2017.

The loan involved descriptive, preservation, legal and security concerns for loan and return of the manuscripts.

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Through seminars, site-specific classes and practical exercises, I guide students to engage with key sources for each module as well as with practical issues of copyright restrictions, digital presence, object handling and photography. 

Multiple classes delivered in each module: 
  • HI6091: Skills for Medieval Historians (2016/2017, 2018/2019); 
  • MU6031: Sound Studies & Musicology (2016/2017 – 2018/2019).

Stand-alone undergraduate and postgraduate classes delivered each year, subject to module  / course running:
  • Dept. of Archaeology: AR2045, MA in Archaeology, MA in Museum Studies
  • Digital Humanities: DH2001, DH6033
  • Dept. of Early & Medieval Irish: MA in Early & Medieval Irish
  • Dept. of English: EN1003, EN3006,  MA Modernities: American and British Literature and Film, MA Texts & Contexts: Medieval to Renaissance, MA in Irish Studies, MA Irish Writing & Film
  • Dept. of Folklore: FL2013,
  • Dept. of French: FR1201, MA in Languages & MA in Translation, 
  • Dept. of Irish: GA2013, GA6037
  • Dept. of Italian: IT3205
  • Dept. of History: HI2105: Case Study Eastern Europe 1980s Onwards, HI2105: Case Study on Franciscans, HI2105: Case Study on The Big House: Researching the Ascendancy, HI3122, HI3200: Communications, Culture, Community & Identity 1922 - 2002, HI3200: History of Poland from 1918, HI3200: Ireland & Empire Irish Involvement in Imperialism Overseas, HI3200: Irish Diaspora in Comparative Perspective, HI3200: Irish Women & Society c.1750 – 1937, HI3200: Place, People and History Studies in Irish Identities from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, HI3200: The Great Famine, HI3200: War & Revolution in Cork 1914-1923, MA in Local History, MA in Medieval History, MA in the Irish Revolution 1912-1923,
  • Dept. of Music: MU2012, MU2036, MA in Music,  
  • Dept. of Theatre: DR1008, MA in Theatre. 


Research Information

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
John Hough University College CorkIRELAND
Malgorzata Krasnodebska - D'Aughton University College CorkIRELAND
Jillian Rogers University College CorkIRELAND

Contact details

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University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF

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