Blog Post

The Irish Slave Trade and the Digital Archive

Hi everyone.

I am a first year PhD student and HASTAC scholar from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. I am currently researching the trafficking of Irish Slaves to the Americas from 1600 onwards, studying the ethics of archiving as well as the benefits and ethics with digital archiving particularly in the case of the Irish Slaves, something that has been 'hidden' or 'omitted' from 'official history and records.' I will also be adding in a francophone context to this project, although I havent pinned down the specifics just yet. 

As part of this project I will be travelling to the Caribbean and the USA to gather information/documentation/evidence of these events meanwhile also working with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Dublin to gather what I can find from this side of the water. At the moment, I am trying to pin down my methodology using works such as Archive Fever by Jacques Derrida.

I was wondering if anyone in the HASTAC community would be able to recommend any good articles/books about archival methodology, both traditional and digital?

And also, if anyone is working on anything similar or has an interest in this topic then it would be great to chat to you about it and exchange some ideas. You can message me on this or reach me by email ( or through twitter (@mikemc_kenna).


Thanks for your time everyone.


All the best,


Michael McKenna 


1 comment

Hi Michael!  I hope you're well.  Thank for doing this.  You're a good man.

I'd like to suggest that you look through the most recent posts in a backwards-chronological fashion.  Perhaps you can find some interest here.  Also, you should tweet your question to the @hastacscholars hashtag.  

I hope to see you in Michigan.  Your "reveleations" to us in Belfast brought up a whole slew of questions about your subject matter.  I will want to quiz you.  Has Margaret Topping decided if she is going to go with you?