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Thursday, March 16, 2023

Upcoming Lecture on 24 March 2023 : Digitally Remapping Ireland's Ordnance Survey by Dr Catherine Porter

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society 2022 – 2023 lecture series continues at 8 pm on Friday, March 24th in St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford (Eircode X91 YX61) when Dr Catherine Porter will deliver a talk titled ‘Digitally Remapping Ireland's Ordnance Survey’.


In 1824, the first Ordnance Survey of Ireland began in earnest, within two decades accurate six-inch maps had been published for Waterford and many other parts of the country. The maps produced from the survey act as a basis for much of what we read in today’s landscape, in Waterford and across the island. But the geographies of Ireland collected and collated by the Ordnance Survey extend far beyond cartography; other sources detail the natural landscape, built environment, cultural heritage and more. Whilst the material generated from this venture inform today’s conversations on the contested tangible and in-tangible legacies of nineteenth-century Britain in Ireland, it also holds a wealth of information on pre-famine populations and their resilience in the face of an evolving landscape

In this talk Dr Porter will introduce us to OS200: Digitally Re-mapping Ireland’s Ordnance Survey Heritage, a three-year project co-funded by the Irish Research Council (Ireland) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom). The research team based at the University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast aim to draw together, for the first time since their creation, the maps, memoirs, name books and letters from the first Ordnance Survey of Ireland forming one freely accessible digital resource hosted by Digital Repository Ireland.

In the lecture Catherine will explore examples of the source materials, explain their importance in understanding the complex histories of the island, and explain how the resource might be used by local historians, researchers and the public.


Dr Catherine Porter is a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Limerick. A historical geographer, her research interests lie in new ways to approach and analyse early maps and texts, specifically the histories of mapping Ireland from the sixteenth-century to the nineteenth-century. Catherine is currently the Ireland lead investigator of the OS200: Digitally Re-mapping Ireland’s Ordnance Survey Heritage digital humanities project co-funded by the Irish Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She also leads a project on the early nineteenth-century ‘Looney Map’ of Tipperary, and through the Royal Irish Academy’s R..J. Hunter grant is exploring the cartography of the confiscated lands of Ulster. She holds the J.B. Harley fellowship in the history of cartography and is a current member of the Royal Irish Academy Historical Studies Committee.

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