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Magdalene institutions records online

A searchable database of thousands of documents detailing the lives of female inmates of Ireland’s controversial Magdalene Laundries has been launched, telling survivors’ stories.

Magdalene Institutions: Recording an Oral and Archival History is a Government of Ireland Collaborative Research Project funded by the Irish Research Council. Led by Associate Professor Katherine O’Donnell at University College Dublin, the project also involves work undertaken by The Justice for Magdalenes Research group and the Waterford Memories Project at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). The project studied archival evidence and oral testimonies of girls and women who lived and worked at the Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools from the 18th to the late 20th centuries. Inmates’ traumatic experiences have only been exposed in recent times, including the tragic story of Philomena Lee, whose story was made into a film, and the discovery of an unmarked mass grave beneath a Dublin laundry in 1993.

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