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Educational Services


The Archives Service undertakes programmes of activities aimed at students and education providers in County Donegal.

The aim of this programme is to increase awareness of the importance of local archives and of the potential use of the extensive collection of documents preserved by the County Archives in Lifford to students and teachers.


County Donegal in 1916: From the Edge Donegal County Council History and Heritage Education Pack 

As part of the 2016 Easter Rising Centenary commemorations Donegal County Council's Archives, Library, Museum and Heritage Office has produced an education pack, a 64 page illustrated booklet giving an overview of the history of the county of Donegal in that year, and 19 facsimiles of archives and photographs with questions and exercises for students. The printed version of the pack will be available to schools and individuals interested in this subject over the next few weeks, from late January 2016. Please find below the education pack divided into three pdfs, also the facsimiles in three pdfs. Copyright remains with Donegal County Council, and all other owners of images contained in the pack; and they cannot be reproduced without prior permission. The pack can be printed off and used for schools or for private research.


1916 Education Study Pack - 1  

1916 Education Study Pack - 2

1916 Education Study Pack - 3

1916 Facsimiles English - 1

1916 Facsimiles English - 2

1916 Facsimiles English - 3


Primary Schools Facsimile Pack

As part of the programme, in 2006, the Service launched its Schools Facsimile Pack, an innovative primary school history curriculum project supported by the Heritage Council and the Donegal Education Centre.

The aim of this project is to increase awareness of local archives and local history by introducing archival material to children at a young age, in a manner that causes no threat to the preservation of the documents.

The packs are potentially a very versatile teaching aid for use in history, geography, civics or social studies classes and are easily manipulated in the classroom.

Archival material demonstrates the nature of evidence, introducing the concept of primary and secondary sources and can also help develop a broad range of investigative and interpretive skills in students.

Documents in the pack are arranged under topics taken straight from the primary school curriculum and include: Homes and My Locality, Schools and Life in the Nineteenth Century.

There are packs for four different regions in the county of Donegal, with accompanying facsimiles of documents from the Archives relating to the regions. Documents include past and present day photographs of towns, railway notices and photographs of trains and other means of transport, plans of labourers’ cottages, school records, extracts from workhouse registers, and fisheries’ posters. 




Primary pack- Schools section

Primary Schools pack Homes

Primary Schools pack Farming

Primary schools pack- 19th Century

Primary Schools pack Transport

Primary Schools pack Glossary

Flight of the Earls Study Pack

To mark the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls, with the financial support of the International Fund for Ireland, the Archives Service has produced a Document Study Pack for second level schools in Counties Donegal, Tyrone and Derry. The pack contains a selection of facsimiles of 16th and 17th century documents covering the events leading up to the Flight of the Earls of Tyrone and Tír Chonaill and the subsequent Plantation of Ulster. It also contains an introductory background to the history of the Flight, as well as worksheets. This pack was researched and written by Ciara Joyce for Donegal County Archives.

Copies of the pack are available on request to schools throughout the country.


Flight of the Earls cover of pack



Ulster Plantation Study Pack


The Ulster Plantation pack, produced to mark the 400th anniversary of the Plantation in Ulster, is aimed primarily at second level schools, and provides an introduction to this crucial period in Irish history, including the major events surrounding the Plantation up to the arrival of Oliver Cromwell in Ireland in 1649. It includes a background to the official scheme for plantation, the divisions of land, the newcomers to Ulster and also the subsequent rebellion in Ulster in 1641.

The pack uses facsimiles of original documents from the period to outline these historic events in Irish history, which students are asked to examine and answer a selection of questions on. This not only demonstrates the value of archival documents it also helps to develop essential research and analytical skills in students.

Documents in this pack include, letters, proclamations, maps and illustrations, provided by leading archives and libraries in Ireland and the UK, including Trinity College Dublin and Lambeth Palace Library, London.

The pack has been distributed to school in Counties Donegal and Derry and schools and colleges as well as individuals can still received copies on request. This booklet was researched and written by Ciara Joyce for Donegal County Archives.

Ulster Plantation Pack cover


A Decade of Change: Donegal and Ireland 1912 - 1923

The Archives Service has produced a study pack for second level students on the theme of Ireland and Donegal's Decade‌


A Decade of Change: Donegal and Ireland, 1912 – 1923 Document Study pack


Ireland has commenced its decade long commemoration of what is generally known as the revolutionary period in recent Irish history, covering the years from approximately 1912 to 1923. Donegal County Archives has begun its commemoration of these crucial events in our history by producing a document study pack aimed at second level schools.


This education pack consists of: (1) an illustrated booklet documenting the history of this period in Ireland and focusing on Donegal in particular; (2) high quality facsimiles of documents from Donegal County Archives and other collections, and transcriptions; (3) questions designed to assist students to examine evidence contained in the facsimiles, (4) brief biographies of the main national and local players in this period in history.


The booklet examines this critical period in our recent history both from a CountyDonegal and a national perspective. The pack includes an introduction to the major events in Ireland from 1870 – 1912 and then examines the period 1912 – 1923, focusing on specific themes, nationally and in Donegal: The Third Home Rule Bill; Resistance to Home Rule; World War One; The 1916 Rising; The War of Independence; Truce and Anglo-Irish Treaty; the Civil War and Aftermath and Legacy. 


The document study aspect of the pack features 18 high quality reproductions of archives. These documents relate to each of the key themes and provide varying perspectives on these major events as they happened in Donegal. Transcriptions of handwritten documents are included.


This study pack is ideal for teachers and students of history in both the junior and leaving certificates and includes a selection of (junior certificate) curriculum based exercises on the back of each document.  The pack would also serve as a very useful introduction to the subject for undergraduates of modern Irish history.


The pack is a resource for teachers and students that can be used throughout the decade of commemorations and beyond. The pack is available free of charge to teachers, schools and colleges.


Decade of Change booklet:


 Decade of Change


Decade of Change worksheets





Hands of History

This publication is part of the Hands of History Project, 2013 – 2014. The Hands of History Project is Action A3 of the Donegal Peace III Action Plan 2011 – 2013 which aims to address racism and sectarianism and to promote and embrace the diversity of cultures living in Donegal. Donegal County

Guide to the Archives for Teachers and Students

The Archives Service has also produced a Guide in  to the archival collections aimed at teachers and students. The Guide includes details of the major collections held by the County Archives as well as notes for teachers on how they might be utilized for the teaching of local history.

Teachers Guide

Treorai do Mhuinteoiri



In-Service Training

Primary teachers have visited the County Archives to view documents and photographs and have been given information on the history of the collections as part of training courses for teachers. 

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