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Schools get free access to the Dictionary of Irish Biography

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 28/10/2014. Schools get free access to the Dictionary of Irish BiographyTags: Education And Politics Teachers

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, have welcomed the initiative by the Royal Irish Academy, to make the Dictionary of Irish Biography (DIB) accessible online free of charge to all primary and post-primary schools.

The DIB is the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland. It contains biographical details of over 10,000 lives, including articles on individuals who had important careers in politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, the arts, the sciences, entertainment and sport.

Minister O’Sullivan highlighted the value of the Dictionary as an educational resource, saying: “The Dictionary is a fantastic free resource for students and teachers. It will be of immense value to students studying history at both primary and post-primary levels.

“The comprehensive range of biographies included in the Dictionary mean that it will also be an important aid and information source for a number of other subjects including English, Irish, Geography, Art, Music and the Sciences”.

Minister Humphreys said: “I am very pleased to see the Dictionary of Irish Biography being made available free online for schools across the country. I am very keen for schools and young people to be involved in the Decade of Centenaries, and this project is a great example of how we can enrich the educational experience of our students by giving them access to fascinating documents and archives online.

“It is often through personal stories that we can best understand and appreciate history. The thousands of stories and articles available through the Dictionary of Irish Biography will help students to connect with some of the most influential figures in Irish history. I hope that this extremely comprehensive online database will act as a very useful and interesting resource for students of all levels, across a wide range of subjects.”

Minister O’Sullivan noted that making the Dictionary accessible to schools is just one element of the overall ‘Decade of Centenaries’ commemorations that are being progressed by Government.

She said: “I would like to thank the Royal Irish Academy, Cambridge University Press and Minister Humphreys for their involvement in making the Dictionary of Irish Biography accessible to our schools. This initiative builds on previous ‘Decade of Centenaries’ partnerships with my Department such as the development of history lesson plans for primary schools relating to ‘A history of Ireland in 100 objects’. A set of history lesson plans for post-primary schools will also be made available before the end of the current school year”.

Schools can access the Dictionary of Irish Biography, and the primary school history lesson plans, via Scoilnet and the Schools Broadband Network which is funded by the Department of Education and Skills ( or directly the DIB) and for the lesson plans.


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