Dr. Natalie Harrower
Associate Group Member
Digital Repository Ireland
Although I’ve spent most of my career as a humanities scholar (PhD Drama) I’ve always been drawn to emerging technologies for their ability to disrupt and vary the ways individuals communicate with the world. I’ve taken this interest into the classroom, by having students create public websites out of their group research materials, or write and comment on one another’s blog postings instead of handing short essays directly to me. Publicly accessible forms of expression demand a different kind of attention, and speak to different audiences; I find this both exciting and challenging.
Currently, I am the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Educational Technologist and Manager of Education and Outreach, responsible for a comprehensive training programme in digital archiving and preservation, as well as for public engagement and community building. Based at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, I’ve given training on the effective use of social media to cultural institutions, and I’m involved in research activities with a number of European organisations, contributing to Europeana, DARIAH and ALLEA.
In Ireland, I am chairing the Royal Irish Academy’s event for Discover Research Dublin, an exciting event that invites the public to interact with researchers. Our event uses the concept of a busy newsroom to encourage participants to become a ‘Journalist for a Night’ by researching archival sources to provide historical context for a contemporary news story.
I’m also the local chair for the 3rd Plenary of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), an exciting new global organisation that aims to accelerate and facilitate research data sharing and exchange. I provide these examples – Researchers’ Night and the RDA – as they span my interests nicely, involving international research activity on the one hand, and local public engagement on the other hand. Once upon a time before social media, I worked as a journalist and broadsheet section editor, and I’ve now become an avid Tweeter and tech addict, so I’m curious to keep exploring the relationship between these forms of communication.