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'Remembering': Victims, Survivors and Commemoration
An Introduction to the CAIN / AHRC-Awarded Project


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The University of Ulster received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to undertake a two year project to develop a digital Archive related to the topic of victims, survivors and commemoration. A team of researchers based at the Magee campus of the university documented the developments that have taken place in this subject area since 1997. Information that was collected during the project was made available through the existing CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) Web site. While most of the work relates to the conflict within Northern Ireland, the team also looked at how this issue has been approached in the Republic of Ireland and Britain.

Prior to the beginning of the project there was some information on the topics of victims and commemoration at the CAIN Web site. However, the research team have greatly expanded this with an extensive on-line digital Archive of source materials and information. Part of the work involved seeking permission to gather and compile information and material that was held by a large number of organisations and individuals. Some of this information was only available in paper format and the researchers converted this into a digital format. In addition to existing information the project also generated new material. For example, the team compiled a searchable database of information and photographs on the physical monuments to the victims of the conflict.

Information contained in the Archive helps to document the process by which society in Northern Ireland has so far addressed the complex issues surrounding victims, survivors and commemoration. The information is now freely and readily available to a world-wide audience through the CAIN web site. The lessons learnt in Northern Ireland will be of interest not only to an academic audience but also to policy makers, non-governmental organisations, community leaders and others.

A further aim of the project was to secure the long-term preservation of the digital material. The University of Ulster is committed to ensuring that all the contents of the CAIN site remain available to users of the site into the long-term. In addition the CAIN site was selected to participate in the UK Web Archive ( - formerly the UK Web Archiving Consortium Project) and as such the contents of the site are regularly archived.

Professor Tom Fraser, then Emeritus Professor based at INCORE, was the Principal Investigator and Award Holder and lead the project team. He was supported by Professor Gillian Robinson, then Director of ARK and INCORE. The other members of the team were: Dr Martin Melaugh, then Director of CAIN, Dr Brendan Lynn, then Deputy Director of CAIN, Dr Sara McDowell, then CAIN Research Associate (15 January 2007 - 31 May 2007), Dr John Nagle, then CAIN Research Associate (1 August 2007 - 13 March 2009), Mr Mike McCool, then IT Director, and Mrs Janet Farren, then Secretary to the project.

The AHRC provided funding of £239,397. Work on the project began 'officially' on 1 October 2006 and was originally scheduled to end on 30 September 2008. Due to staffing changes this deadline was moved by agreement to 31 March 2009. The Archive was launched on 16 June 2009.

AHRC logo The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK . For further information on the AHRC, please see the website

Anyone requiring further information about the project can contact the CAIN Director.

Important Dates in Project

  • 6 July 2004 - Initial meeting which discussed establishing victims' Archive within CAIN.
  • 26 November 2004 - Closing date for original application to the AHRB.
  • 3 June 2005 - Letter from ARHC notifying proposal graded 'A' (Priority) but not funded.
  • 24 November 2005 - Closing date for second application to AHRC (formerly AHRB).
  • 17 May 2006 - Date of award decision by the AHRC.
  • 9 June 2006 - Letter from AHRC notifying team of positive outcome.
  • 1 October 2006 - Start of project.
  • 15 January 2207 - Appointment of first Research Associate for project.
  • 31 March 2007 - Special six month progress report to AHRC
  • 31 May 2007 - First Research Associate takes up lecturing post.
  • 1 August 2007 - Appointment of second Research Associate for project.
  • 30 September 2008 - Original end date for project before six month extension.
  • 13 March 2009 - Second Research Associate completes contract.
  • 31 March 2009 - Official end of project.
  • 16 June 2009 - Public launch of Digital Archive.
  • 30 June 2009 - Final report to AHRC.

Project Team

  • Emeritus Professor Tom Fraser, INCORE,
    - Principal Investigator on project and award holder
  • Prof. Gillian Robinson, Director of ARK
    - Supervisory management of project and Advisory Group member
  • Dr Martin Melaugh, Director of CAIN
    - Manager of project, content provider and Web site compilor
  • Dr Brendan Lynn, Deputy Director of CAIN
    - Content providor
  • Dr Sara McDowell, Research Associate (15 Jan 2007 to 31 May 2007)
    - content provider
  • Dr John Nagle, Research Associate (1 Aug 2007 to 13 Mar 2009)
    - content provider
  • Mr Mike McCool, IT Director ARK/INCORE
    - Database programming and Web site design
  • Mrs Janet Farren
    - Secretary on project
  • Brandon Hamber, Director of INCORE
    - Advisory Group member
  • Prof. Paul Arthur, Professor of Politics
    - Advisory Group member

See also:

Information on the new AHRC-funded project (Start date 1 March 2010; finish date 28 February 2011)


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