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The Venue

Library & Archives

RDS Library & Archives Research Bursary

In 2019 the RDS Library & Archives will develop a research project focusing on the RDS Equestrian Archive to examine the work of the RDS in the development and promotion of the Irish bred horse throughout its history.

The RDS Library & Archives is seeking expressions of interest from postgraduate researchers to complete a research study on a topic of interest within the RDS Equestrian Archive. The successful candidate will be awarded a research bursary of €10,000. As part of the bursary the recipient must complete a research paper for presentation at a relevant conference as well as a talk during the RDS Library Speaker Series 2019. The research paper must also be submitted for publication in an appropriate academic journal.

Those wishing to apply should send an academic CV and brief project proposal before the deadline of Wednesday 16 January 2019. Applicants who proceed to the next stage will be required to give a presentation to a judging panel on their research proposal. Please direct any queries to librarydesk@rds.ie

RDS Equestrian Archive

The RDS has had a long and fruitful relationship with the development and promotion of equestrianism throughout its history.

In July 1868 the RDS held its first Horse Show in the grounds of its headquarters at Leinster House, located in the city of Dublin and now home to the Irish parliament.

Today over 1600 horses arrive annually at the RDS show grounds in Ballsbridge, Dublin, to take part in the Dublin Horse Show, continuing its tradition as one of the world’s oldest and premier equestrian events.

The RDS Library & Archives are the repository for the RDS Equestrian Archive and includes material relating to the Dublin Horse Show from its inception up to the present day. The RDS Equestrian Archives are available to browse via our online catalogue.

Material from the RDS Equestrian Archive includes:

  • RDS Equestrian Committee Minute Books and correspondence
  • RDS Committee of Agriculture Minute Books and correspondence
  • RDS Premium Awards (including agricultural improvements and horse breeding)
  • The Maymes Ansell Archive a collection of approximately 20,000 images taken at the Dublin Horse Show from 1967-2006 and donated by the photographer Maymes Ansell to the RDS Library & Archives in 2007.
  • The Tony Parkes Archive a collection of images taken at the Dublin Horse Show 2005-2012 by photographer Tony Parkes.
  • RDS Photos Online images from the Dublin Horse Show including the Maymes Ansell and Tony Parkes Archives.
  • The Iris Kellett Archive: photographs, press-clippings, Horse Show catalogues and correspondence from leading Irish horsewoman Iris Kellett.
  • Dublin Horse Show catalogues, press clippings correspondence and ephemera relating to the Dublin Horse from 1868 to the present

In 2018 the RDS Library & Archives engaged in a research project focusing on the RDS Craft Archive to examine the work of the RDS in the application of craft discoveries and techniques in Ireland. Following receipt of expressions of interest in January 2018 the RDS Library & Archives Bursary judging panel awarded the reserach bursary of €10,000 to Dr Claudia Kinmonth, MRIA. Dr Kinmonth presented her research paper at the Annual Conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society. She also presented her research as part of the RDS Library Speaker Series. Her paper entitled Rags, Riches & Recycling; the Dublin Society's encouragement of art & artefacts, 1731-1781’ has been accepted for publication in Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies in 2019.

In 2017 the RDS Library & Archives engaged in a research project focusing on the RDS Science Archive. Following receipt of expressions of interest in January 2017 the RDS Library & Archives Bursary judging panel awarded the reserach bursary of €10,000 to Dr Adrian Kirwan, NUI Maynooth. Dr Adrian Kirwan presented his research paper at the Annual Conference of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine Network Ireland, held in association with the RDS Library and Archives. The conference was held in the RDS Library on 13 & 14 October 2017.

In 2016 the Research Bursary was awarded to Dr Míchéal Ó Fáthartaigh to carry out research on the RDS Agriculture Archive. His research was presented at Remarkable Transformations: Reassessing the history of agriculture in Ireland, a one day conference organized by the RDS Library & Archives. The conference programme and video recordings of the presentations are available online.

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