Teacher's Guide to Using the Archive


Within a school or indeed a public library branch, you can have full access to the archive content free of charge by clicking on the 'Ask About Ireland Irish Times Digital Archive' link on the previous page. This link will take you directly to the search page of the archive where you can enter any search term you wish. There is no limit to the number of users who can access the archive at the same time from the same school or library.

In order to be able to access the Ask About Ireland Irish Times Digital Archive over your school's broadband connection, your school must have a broadband connection that is connected to the Schools Broadband Network and fully functional.

If you are having difficulty accessing the service please check first if your school can access other website.  Then contact the NCTE Service Desk at  1800 33 44 66 and one of their support staff will be glad to assist you.

Search tips

When you click through to the archive, a list of search tips is provided on the search page. The tips are intended to advise people on how to enter search terms, what search conventions apply and how to refine searches to obtain a more relevant set of results.   

Copyright and permitted uses of the archive material

Copyright in the archive resides with The Irish Times. Under the relevant legislation (Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000), you may copy copyright material providing the following conditions are met:

Copying in this context refers largely to downloading or printing content from the archive.   

Using the archive with your class

Accounts on the newspaper pages of this archive will provide resources for teaching many topics of the history curriculum.  This written primary evidence can be used to teach children how to select and critically examine evidence.  Teachers could identify some examples for the study of continuity and change in areas such as transport, clothing or homes.  Reading contemporary accounts of national and international events gives an insight into how these events were acctuallly perceived by people who lived at the time.  The archive is particularly suited for use with children in the senior primary classes but the visual evidence can be used with much younger children.

Teaching about change and continuity

The information within this archive is presented as it was originally published.  All the pictures, advertisements and text are therefore as they were when printed at the time.  This offers a means of making some accurate comparisons between the newspapers then and now.

Activity: Compare and contrast a page, column, heading, illustration or advertisement from a past edition of The Irish Times newspaper with one from a modern newspaper.  Children should notice that the cover page did not always have the main news stories but rather had advertisements up until the 1940s and 1950s.  They might notice the size of the print, the fact that there was little space spared and that the paper was until relatively recently in black and white.  The employment advertisements of the 1940s which advertise under sections such as "Servants Wanted" would prove an interesting resource for the exploration of employment opportunities in Ireland at various times.

Teaching about time and chronology

The timeline search function is a particularly useful device for use with children.  It demonstrates on a model timeline how to arrange events chronologically and makes searching by decade possible.  Children can be shown how the decades are arranged on the timeline.  They can choose a decade and read through some of the featured historical articles which are displayed below each.  They can search the days previous and subsequent to an event, assisting the study of cause and effect.

Activity: Children studying the curriculum topic "Life during World War II" can use the timeline search to find out what else was happening during that time.

Searching for evidence

Search skills can be taught through the use of this archive.  Children will need to know what terms to search for.  For example, what we now call World War I was at the time know as The Great War.

Activity: The teacher can set some quiz questions to which answers can be found through the archive.

Examining visual evidence

Children can be shown examples of advertisements for items of clothing, furniture or cars from a particular edition.  They can be asked to compose a question based on these advertisements, to be answered during class.

Activity: Draw an example of an item and date the period in which it was advertised.  Then compare the item to a modern equivalent and note some similarities and differences in design and cost.

Writing a short biography

The children can search the archive for information about a particular person and write a short paragraph about them.

Writing a historical account

Children can consult the archive to read about a particular event and write an account from the point of view of someone who witnessed it.