Celtic Knot Conference 2017/Programme/CK105

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Title: Intro to Gaelic

Date: 5 July 2017

Time:2pm to 4pm.

Duration: 2 hours.

Venue: University of Edinburgh Library, Rm 1.07, 30 George Square, Edinburgh.


  • Susan Ross, Uicipeid and the National Library of Scotland.
  • Dr Sharon Arbuthnot, Research Fellow, Queen's University, Belfast.

Overview of topic:
Intro to Gaelic: a pre-conference event. Find out more about Scottish Gaelic in this pre-conference event. This free session at the University of Edinburgh Library will provide an introductory overview to Scottish Gaelic in three sections:

  1. Gaelic Language Taster: learn a few words and phrases, and where to find out more! (Susan Ross, Uicipeid/National Library of Scotland).
  2. Gaelic in History and eDIL: a talk drawing on Scottish Gaelic’s shared history with Irish Gaelic and the lexicographical work of eDIL (Sharon Arbuthnot, Queen's University Belfast).
  3. Gaelic in modern Scotland: an overview of Gaelic in Scotland today, its social context and resources available to speakers (Susan Ross, Uicipeid/National Library of Scotland).

eDIL is the Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language based at Queen's University, Belfast, and at Cambridge Univeristy - a dictionary of the language up to about 1600 which draws on sources from both Ireland and Scotland. In 2014, aided by generous funding from the AHRC, the eDIL project entered a new phase. Begun in 2003, the project initially worked on digitisating the Dictionary of the Irish Language (first published in 23 fascicules between 1913 and 1976) and making it freely available online. A follow-up phase (2008-12) began the process of expanding and emending the dictionary contents. In the current, third phase, we continue to expand and correct, but there are other by-products also. We have produced an enriched, mobile-friendly website (www.dil.ie), for example, and we are pursuing various strategies aimed at engaging with individuals and groups outside the academic community to highlight the continued interest and relevance of the early language and the very real potential for invigorating Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic with native terms that were lost in previous centuries. This paper reflects on the experience of the past three years, particularly on efforts to connect with a wider audience through social media. Issues of narrative, contextualisation and reception will be discussed and illustrated with actual examples of Tweets and Word of the Week features that have appeared recently on the project Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Signup: This free satellite event needs to be signed up separately. You can book your place via Eventbrite.

Upon arrival: When arriving at the University of Edinburgh library please report to reception to sign in.

Supporting material:

Related sessions: