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Background

NGI DORAS, formally, ARTseARCH, is a database developed to provide instant access to material from the National Gallery of Ireland's various archives and library collections by offering the user high quality images, associated information and multiple retrieval options.

The primary objectives of DORAS are to facilitate the preservation of and to increase access to archive and special collections by the provision of high quality digital surrogates. The system also encourages the reinterpretation and further study of these collections through its diverse functionality.

DORAS was developed under the auspices of the National Gallery of Ireland by a team comprising the NGI Library & Archive Department and iBase, and with the cooperation of the NGI Prints and Drawings Department and Rights and Reproductions Department. The development of this system, initiated in 2004, was made possible by the assistance of a private benefactor.

Methodology

All items featured on DORAS have been catalogued in accordance with recognized bibliographical and archival standards. A constantly expanding subject index also allows for cross reference searching of collections.

Material from the collections is prioritized for inclusion on the system according to condition and demand, copyright and other legal considerations. Appropriate care is taken in the handling and digitization of source material, as determined by the condition and nature of the items in question.

All images are scanned or photographed to a high resolution, according to best practice. Master copies of all images are saved separately, thus ensuring long-term preservation of the collection content.

Content

DORAS incorporates material from the archive collection of the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, the NGI historical archive, the Yeats Archive & Library, and rare and early publications from the NGI Art Library. This material spans a period from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century, and includes such disparate material as correspondence, photographs, sketches, notes, notebooks, personal effects, video files, and other ephemera.