Prof Keith Lilley (QUB): 'Mapping encounters: exploring the spaces and places of the Ordnance Survey in Ireland'
In 1824, the first Ordnance Survey (OS) of Ireland began in earnest. The geographies of Ireland collected and collated by the OS extend far beyond maps and mappings; other sources detail the natural landscape, built environment, cultural heritage and more. Whilst the material generated from this venture informs today’s conversations on the contested tangible and in-tangible legacies of nineteenth-century Britain in Ireland, it also holds a wealth of information on pre-famine populations and their resilience in the face of an evolving history, heritage and culture. This makes the OS in Ireland of international importance as a case study in approaching contested heritage through critical cartographies, and exploring legacies of maps and map-making in colonial and post-colonial contexts.
This seminar draws on new research at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Limerick co-funded through a bilateral programme between the Irish Research Council (grant ref: IRC/W001802/1) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant ref: AH/W001802/1). Timed to coincide with the 2024 bicentenary of the inauguration of the OS in Ireland, ‘OS200: Digitally Re-mapping Ireland’s Ordnance Survey Heritage’ is a cross-disciplinary and supranational project that uses digital humanities tools and methods to ‘open up the map’, to reveal otherwise hidden geographies of field encounters across Ireland and the practices of those employed and engaged with the survey. Exploring the spaces and places of the Ordnance Survey in Ireland using digital analyses to 'excavate' historic OS maps, name books, letters and memoirs, the paper will report on the project's new discoveries, reflecting critically on the cultural impacts the OS had in Ireland two hundred years ago.
Keith Lilley is Professor of Geography in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast. He is an historical geographer with particular research expertise in interpreting historic landscapes, maps, and built environments; he is co-director of the OS200 project and lead convenor of the Heritage Hub at QUB. He has published widely on the historical geography of Medieval Europe.
This is a hybrid event, taking place in-person in 27 University Square, 01/003 and online via MS Teams. Please indicate your preferred mode of joining when registering.
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