Online Resource: Gothic Past Website

Online Visual Archive of Gothic Architecture and Sculpture in Ireland

This is a fantastic and wide-ranging resource, brimming with images, that will be of particular interest to researchers working in the fields of Gothic Sculpture and Architecture, particularly in Ireland. Gothic Past is an open-access resource for the study of medieval Irish architecture and sculpture. It is part of a research project in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College Dublin, which is funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). The site showcases images from three significant collections of image archives housed in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College. They include the Stalley Collection and the Rae Collection of medieval and early Christian Irish architecture and sculpture: photographic images that were created and collected from the 1930s to the present day. A third archive contains the O’Donovan collection of Irish Gothic moulding profiles. These image collections have been a key primary resource for investigations carried out as part of Reconstructions of the Gothic Past, a thematic research project carried out in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Trinity College from 2008 -2011. The project research and the website have been made possible through the provision of an IRCHSS research grant.

The Reconstructions of the Gothic Past project has examined Gothic buildings in Ireland as part of a continuous historical process, analysing them not just as monuments of one particular period, but as historical ‘documents’. Examining change through time reveals how the use and treatment of Gothic buildings was affected by social, economic, religious and cultural change in subsequent ages. The project findings will be published in 2012 by Wordwell Books.

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