University of Limerick Institutional Repository

University of Limerick Oral History Project

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University of Limerick Oral History Project

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The University of Limerick Oral History Project (ULOHP) aims to create and archive an oral history of the University of Limerick (UL). From its foundation in 1972 as the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) with an initial cohort of 114 students at Plassey House, the University has led the way in pioneering and innovative third-level educational development. It has combined exemplary teaching and research programmes with a tradition of dedication to the wider economic and social needs of both Limerick and the national community. The purpose of the project is to create a digital archive which will record the personal contribution and memories of those who were part of the foundation and development of the NIHE and, from 1989, the University of Limerick.

As the University approaches its fortieth anniversary in 2012, these personal narratives in audio and written format, present a rich portrait of the place and people which made up UL. Driven by an energetic enthusiasm for this dynamic ‘new’ third-level institution, founding academics and administrative staff, together with local and national public figures, revisit in their own words, memories of their own contribution and personal milestones in the history of UL. These important oral histories will be available for consultation by present and future students of the University as well as for any future history projects of the University and Limerick city.

The project, initiated on 1 September 2008, by the office of the Vice President Academic & Registrar, Professor Paul McCutcheon, is overseen by a steering committee consisting of Professor McCutcheon, Dr. Bernadette Whelan, Senior Lecturer, Department of History and Dr. John Logan, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, UL. Dr. Catherine O’ Connor was appointed Project Officer to organise and complete the project. This has necessitated the identification and contact of interviewees, questionnaire design, the conduct and transcription of recorded interviews and the digitisation of material to archival standard. The following themes have been addressed in the project interviews to date:

  • The demand for a University in Limerick prior to 1970.
  • The appointment of the Director and Planning Board 1970.
  • Opening of the NIHE 1972
  • Appointment of the first Governing Body appointed 1975
  • First Graduations 1977
  • Institutional development
  • Curriculum/educational mission
  • Physical development
  • Cultural and sporting activity
  • University status 1989 and subsequent amalgamation with Thomond College of Education
  • Continued expansion and development

It is expected that this project will be ongoing, facilitating the archival of future personal and institutional history.

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