Digitisation & Digital Publishing
Brian Donovan, Director
Adam Monaghan, Manager, IT and Digital Imaging Systems
Paul Manzor, Publishing Manager
Brian studied History at Trinity College, graduating in 1989. He subsequently lectured and tutored in the university and since then has also lectured throughout Ireland and the US on history, genealogy and electronic publishing. Brian’s experience in digital technology, as well as his background in history, helped motivate the founding of Eneclann, with Fiona Fitzsimons, in 1998. Brian specialises in Eneclann’s digitisation work, both for commercial clients and for Eneclann’s own publications. He has overseen the development of Eneclann’s CD catalogue, as well as the Archive CD Books Ireland project. Brian is also closely involved in developing Eneclann’s online publications, playing a key role in establishing both www.irishorigins.com and www.findmypast.ie. Both of these websites are major online resources for Irish genealogical records. As CEO for Eneclann, Brian also focuses on project management and business development, including being project manager on large state sector contracts. Brian was also the technical advisor for the landmark Trinity College project to digitise the 1641 Depositions, as well as many other cultural and educational initiatives. Similarly, Brian was responsible for the mass digitisation project of church records for the Irish government website www.irishgenealogy.ie.
Brian’s paternal side of the family were Gaelic-Irish gentry. He has reached a bit of a conundrum tracing this side of his family in the seventeenth century where there is a Gaelic genealogy recording the family, but Brian likes concrete links! His family is diverse on his mother’s side, including German Catholics, Scots and Ulster Presbyterians. Currently Brian is tracing this side of his family in Canada and the United States in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Brian is particularly interested in sixteenth century Irish history and prehistory. He is also fascinated by the genetic origins of the Irish people.
Brian Donovan and David Edwards, British Sources for Irish History 1485-1641 (Dublin, 1997).
Brian Donovan and David Edwards, ‘British Sources for Irish History before 1485’ in Analecta Hibernica, 37 (1998).
Brian Donovan, ‘Tudor rule in Gaelic Leinster and the Rise of Feagh McHugh O’Byrne’ in Feagh McHugh O’Byrne: The Wicklow Firebrand, 1 (1998).
Brian Donovan, ‘The Clan O’Donovan 1534-1700: An Introduction’ in The O’Donovans (2000)
Brian Donovan, ‘John Donovan, United Irishman and the Wexford Donovans in 1798’ in The O’Donovans (2000)
Fiona graduated in history in 1992, and subsequently tutored at Trinity College Dublin. Fiona Fitzsimons is Research Director of Eneclann, which she co-founded in 1998 with Brian Donovan. Since then Eneclann has completed over 10,000 individual commissions, ranging from private family history research and house histories to media research for television programmes. Research credits include the British, Irish, Australian and Canadian productions of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, RTÉ’s ‘Ancestors During the Famine’ and ‘Faces of America’ (NBC). As Eneclann’s Research director, Fiona plays a key role in developing and ensuring quality in the company’s digital publications and online resources at www.irishorigins.com and elsewhere. Fiona and her research team have also completed some of the largest historical research projects ever undertaken in Ireland, developing new methodologies to be tested and used by others. Work includes an audit of the accuracy of the Irish Genealogical Project’s database of 16 million records and the Irish Battlefields Project. The Irish Battlefields Project, commissioned in 2008 by the Department of the Environment, is the Irish corollary of the U.K. Battlefields Trust Project. This project covers a millennium of Irish history, and in her role as researcher for the early modern period and project manager Fiona drew on her formal historical training.
Areas of specialization include Gaelic lordships and Irish lineages; Irish land law 16th to 20th Centuries; Dublin Guilds and artisan-business 17th to late 19th Centuries; and Irish records for fostering and ‘boarded-out’ children, prior to 1952. She has also made a particular study of collections including the records of the Valuation Office, the Registry of Deeds, and the Petty Sessions Courts in Ireland. She has published scholarly articles in academic journals and books of essays, and was also a contributor to The Encyclopaedia of Ireland (Rutledge Publications New York), and The Oxford Companion to Irish History (Oxford University Press).
Tommie worked for over thirty years in the public sector, half of these as a senior manager. He holds an MBA and a BA. When he retired, Tommie wanted to do something different. Working for Eneclann appealed to him, particularly because of his interest in family history. As Eneclann’s Business Manager, Tommie is responsible for the support functions for the team, such as HR, finance, procurement, editing, administration and related areas.
Tommie is in the process of researching his family history. He actually started his searches thirty years ago, but got sidetracked. His family are from east Galway and so far he has traced some ancestors back to the 1830s. He is currently focussing on other branches of the family, including those who emigrated. Tommie is also interested in twentieth century Irish political history, local history, politics and current affairs and, as a keen sports fan, the history of Irish sport. He co-manages a Gaelic football team and is actively involved in GAA administration at club and county levels.
Vicky gained her undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from TCD, then going on to do a masters in archaeology at Cambridge University. She has recently completed a PhD in history at Trinity College. She started working for Eneclann on the Irish Battlefields Project in 2008, doing image research and assisting Fiona with editing the reports. Here at Eneclann she is particularly responsible for marketing strategy, including the newsletter and website, and for making sure everything runs smoothly at the family history events Eneclann attends.
Vicky is a newbie to genealogy. She has lately been researching her paternal grandmother’s side of the family, who lived in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, one branch of which she is trying to trace in 1840s Kilkenny, as well as her paternal grandfather’s ancestors in County Down. She has recently also begun the daunting task of tracing her maternal Jones ancestors in south Wales. Vicky is especially interested in medieval and early modern Irish history, her particular research area being County Down between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Vicky McAlister, ‘The maritime role of Strangford castle’ in A. Forster (ed.),Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Archaeology Post Grad Colloquium 2010 [online], forthcoming.
Vicky McAlister, ‘The Death of the Tower House: evidence for the decline of trade at tower houses’ in T.B. Barry (ed.), Space and Settlement in the Middle Ages (Dublin), forthcoming.
Gerard joined Eneclann in 2003. He received his primary degree in Linguistics and Film Studies from UCD in 2000 and after spending a year working in the National Library, returned to UCD and completed his higher diploma in archival studies. Prior to joining Eneclann, Gerard worked on a project processing the papers of William C. Bullitt, U.S. ambassador to Russia (1933-1936) and France (1936-1940). After joining Eneclann, Gerard has worked on a variety of large and small scale archives projects, for both the public and private sectors. These projects have given Gerard a variety of experience within the archives profession including surveys, digitisation, database management, disaster recovery, training, and the core skill of the archivist; collection processing. Gerard has also been involved with records management projects, designing and implementing records management programmes. As ARM Manager Gerard is responsible for managing the Eneclann archives and records management department, this involves coordinating all current projects as well as bringing in new work to the company. He works on these projects alongside fellow archivist Paul Brett, so he is involved in all the hands-on stuff too! Gerard is the point of contact for the archives department.
Ger has found that his maternal ancestors were either fishermen or publicans from Bray County Wicklow. He has also discovered a family link to Dundee in Scotland, which he hopes to follow up next. He has a particular interest in the history of film, thanks to his earlier studies.
Andrew worked for several years managing an off-licence before making the move into IT. Like Adam, Andrew worked in IT at Roslyn Park, before joining Eneclann in 2004 as archive assistant on a disaster recovery project for the Irish army. Andrew continued to work in archives until 2007, at which point he became Production Manager. Andrew is now working on the Military Pensions Project. Andrew says that his interest is in Irish current affairs rather than history – we’re trying to persuade him otherwise!
As Research Manager Carmel ensures the delivery of a first rate research service for clients who wish to accurately trace their Irish ancestry. Combining an aptitude for administration with the skills of an historian, Carmel works to ensure that available historical sources are used to deliver maximum results for clients.
Carmel did her first degree in Politics and Economics before becoming a university administrator. In 2008 she did a Masters in Family History at the University of Limerick. Upon graduating, Carmel obtained an internship at the Genealogical Office of the National Library of Ireland. Carmel has been delighted to build on this experience and has enjoyed being part of the Genealogical Advisory Service at the Library in the summer of 2012.
Genealogy, for Carmel, brings together her twin passions for family and history. Carmel has traced her father’s side of the family back to the 1700s in Dublin using a strong family oral history tradition and parish vestry records. On her maternal side, she is one quarter American, which gives her a particular perspective on the Irish diaspora.
Helen did her BSc in Human Communication, then working for the journalist and author, Bruce Arnold, before joining Eneclann. She was research assistant on Bruce Arnold’s biography of Jack Yeats, and on various publications about the life and work of Jonathan Swift. Helen is Senior Researcher at Eneclann. She spends most of her time doing research in the archives in Dublin, including the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, General Register Office and the Registry of Deeds.
Much of Helen’s family tree on her father’s side was researched by her grandfather, which is where she thinks she caught the family history bug from! One of her ancestors, John Alexander Graham, was born in Jamaica in 1773, the son of Alexander Graham. Helen plans to see if she can take the family back any further, at least for a good excuse to visit Jamaica! Helen is particularly interested in 17th, 18th and 19th Century Irish history, and the history of the Quakers in Ireland.
Jennifer Doyle is a Dublin native who initially began studying science before transferring to history in Trinity College Dublin and has never looked back. Her historical interests are varied, to say the least. Her undergraduate dissertation studied the three criminal jurisdictions of medieval Dublin while her Masters thesis, obtained from King’s College, London in 2011, focused on the concept of respectability, constructing her thesis on the themes of eggs, butter and patriotism. She hopes that her thesis will be published in the near future. Through researching her family history, Jennifer has managed to show that coincidentally, both her parents share the same general ancestral area, despite one being a true Dubliner.
Adam began his career in Landscape and Civil Engineering and it was there that he first encountered cutting-edge technology. It was his experiences in engineering that led him to go back to education to study computer programming. After this he established his own computer support company – ‘Second Phase’ – and came to Ireland to re-train and to work in technology full-time in 1999. Adam studied Computer Programming and Technical Support at Roslyn Park and then started teaching, doing his postgraduate diploma in teaching at the same time. It was after this that Adam came to Eneclann, working in IT Management before helping to start up the digitisation team. As Manager of IT and Digital Imaging Systems Adam maintains the system stability, including security, user support and expansion, as well as more general IT work. He specialises in bespoke storage arrays to facilitate data in excess of a pedabyte for large digitisation projects. Adam also builds the machines needed for such projects, and adapts existing technology to suit the demands of individual digitisation projects. Adam also manages the digitisation process, storage and delivery to clients.
Through his job, handling many of Ireland’s historical documents, ranging from tenth century manuscripts to seventeenth century depositions, Adam has acquired an interest in historical items.
Paul gained a Masters in History from NUI Galway in 2001, following which he joined the Loughrea History project. During his time there he co-edited and contributed to the publication of the award-winning two-volume History of Loughrea & Folklore of Loughrea (2003). Paul joined the team at Eneclann in 2004 taking responsibility for the company’s publication programme as Publications Manager.
As Publications Manager, on a day-to-day basis Paul manages the creation of Eneclann’s CD publications, provides technical support and works on Eneclann’s digitisation projects. During his time with Eneclann he has overseen over 500 publication and digitisation projects. Paul is also a familiar face at trade shows and genealogy events, where he represents the company. Paul is especially interested in Fenianism, Irish-America, the Land War and Irish politics of the late nineteenth century.
Joseph Forde, Christina Cassidy, Paul Manzor and David Ryan (eds), Loughrea: history 1798-1918, I (Loughrea, 2003)
Joseph Forde, Christina Cassidy and Paul Manzor (eds), The District of Loughrea: folklore 1860-1960, II (Loughrea, 2004)
Paul specifically wrote the following sections:
Connecting Loughrea, the US Civil War and the Fenians, 1861-69
The Land War in Loughrea, 1879-1916
Local Government in Loughrea, 1898-1900