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  The future of CAIN

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Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh

Consultation on the future of CAIN - Ended 2nd May

Ulster University held a 12-week consultation about the future of the CAIN Web Service. This consultation ran from 7th February to 2nd May 2019.

As users of CAIN will be aware, the website holds a large archive of information and source materials on the Northern Ireland and politics in the region. This archive has been freely available on-line since March 1997. New materials added on a regular basis. This is a unique academic and civic resource, but resource-building work is also increasingly challenging to fund.

Over the last few years the level of research grant income has not matched the cost of providing the service. Ulster University has met the shortfall duing this period but is keen to find a way to make the resource sustainable in the long term.

A consultation was held on the future of CAIN as a live research project. If that is not possible then the staff would be made redundant and on-line access would be ensured by making CAIN a special digital collection within the University's Library. However, in the absence of dedicated staff, no new material would be added, no updates carried out, and no queries or permission requests would be dealt with.

Following the ending of the consultation the responses are being reviewed. The University will explore the ideas and proposals made during the process. The outcome of this process will be made known in due course. Anyone with a query regarding the consultation should contact Dr Martin Melaugh:

Contacting CAIN

Name: Dr Martin Melaugh
Job Title: CAIN Director
Postal Address: Room MD141, INCORE
  Magee Campus, Ulster University
  Northland Road
  Northern Ireland
Postcode: BT48 7JL
Tel: 00 44 (0)28 7167 5517

Media Items

Information about the consultation has appeared in the media recently:

  • New icon BBC Radio Ulster, Talkback. (2019). Recorded interview with Martin Melaugh (CAIN Director), and live follow-up interviews with Alex Kane and Susan McKay, about the future of CAIN, at 12.45 pm on Wednesday 1 May 2019 (recording; interview begins at 45m 05s).
  • New icon n.a. (2019). 'Durkan: Defer CAIN decision until City Deal secured', Derry Now, (30 April 2019), (on-line version), [PDF; 22KB]
  • New icon Carroll, Rory. (2019). 'Academic vandalism' - unique archive of the Troubles under threat, The Guardian, p.37 (Education Section), (30 April 2019), (on-line version), [PDF; 852KB].
  • Hargan, Garrett. (2019). 'Yale professor denounces UU decision to 'abandon' Mageee Troubles resource', Derry News, Thursday 21 March 2019, page 5, (on-line version), [PDF; 2057KB].
  • The Pat Kenny Show. (2019). Interview by Pat Kenny of Dr Conor Mulvagh (UCD lecturer) about the future of the CAIN website, The Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk FM, Thursday 14 Mach 2019, (Listen Back, interview begins at 01:28:15).
  • Hargan, Garrett. (2019). 'Madness' - Ulster University faces backlash after threatened closure of Magee's CAIN archive, Derry News, Monday 4 March 2019, page 8, (on-line version), [PDF; 2475KB].
  • Staff Reporter. (2019). Threat to university Troubles website 'shameful', News Letter, 3 March 2019 15:48, (on-line version); (print edition, 4 March 2019, page 9), [PDF; 1899KB].
  • Horgan, Goretti. (2019). 'The world-famous CAIN Troubles archive must not be allowed to gather dust', Belfast Telegraph, Friday 1 March 2019, page 37, (on-line version), [PDF; 481KB]
  • Staff Reporter. (2019). 'Future of 'Troubles' archive in doubt', Derry Journal, Friday 1 March 2019, p 14, [PDF; 872KB]
  • Staff Reporter. (2019). 'Archive of Northern Ireland Troubles to close', Belfast Telegraph, Tuesday 26 February 2019, (online edition).
  • BBC Radio Ulster, Evening Extra. (2019). Interview with Goretti Horgan, UCU representative, about the future of the CAIN website, at 5.30 pm on Monday 25 February 2019, (recording; interview begins at 38m 25s).
  • BBC News. (2019). 'Troubles website 'CAIN' faces cuts', BBC News website, Monday 25 February 2019, [PDF; 74KB].
  • The Mark Patterson Show. Mark Patterson interviewed Eamonn McCann about the future of CAIN, on BBC Radio Foyle, at 1.30 pm on Monday 25 February 2019, (recording; interview begins at 2m 50s).
  • Hargan, Garrett. (2019). 'Threat to Magee University resource and associated jobs 'contradicts' the university expansion plans', Derry News, Thursday 21 February 2019, page 20, (on-line version), [PDF; 2151KB].


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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