Browsing and searching the collection
The following browsing and search facilities are available on the Portráidí.ie website:
- Browse Writers
- Full text search
Links to this section can be found in both the header and footer (top and bottom) of all pages on this website. Writers are listed in alphabetical order by their first names in this section. You can click on any letter A–Z to view a list of all writers whose first name begins with that letter. You may also select ALL in order to view all portraits on a single page. Click on a particular writer's name or photograph to open that person's portrait.
In addition to the above facilities, the list of writers may be filtered according to certain criteria. These criteria are located on the right-hand side of the page: clicking on the name of any criterion will cause a list of possible options to be displayed. The available filter criteria are:
- The writer's gender.
- The writer's date of birth (where such information is provided).
- A genre to which the writer belongs.
- Media, that is to say results can be limited to only those entries for which an accompanying audio file is available.
- The photographer who created the writer's portrait.
Full text search
There is a search box at the top of all pages on this website, where the label 'Search Portraits of Irish-Language Writers' is visible. You may write words or phrases in this box and search for them by clicking the search button (the magnifying glass icon to the right of the search box) or by pressing the ENTER or RETURN button on your keyboard or touch screen device. The system will attempt to retrieve the entered terms within the first names, surnames and pen names of the writers in the collection; biographical texts (in both Irish and English), and; extracts from authors' works. A new page will display the search results.
An important aspect of the Portráidí.ie search facility is the manner in which search terms are linguistically processed with the aim of improving users' search experience:
- The search facility respects inflected forms of search terms in Irish as well as different cases and singular or plural forms of nouns in Irish. For example, if the term "gearrscéalaí" (short story writer) is searched, the returned results will include, as appropriate, terms such as "gearrscéalaí", "ghearrscéalaí", "gearrscéalaithe", "ngearrscéalaithe", etc.
- The search facility is capable of recognising and retrieving alternate and related forms of common Irish surnames in both Irish and English. For instance, a portrait of Breandán Ó Doibhlin will be returned in response to a query for "Brendan Devlin"; Danny Sheehy's portrait will be among the results returned when "Mac an tSíthigh" is searched, and; portraits which contain any of the surnames Suibhne, Mac Suibhne, Nic Shuibhne, etc. will be retrieved in response to the search term "Sweeney".
Open-source resources used
In order to provide these advanced language processing functionalities, the Portráidí.ie search system makes use of the following open-source resources:
- Lemmatisation list for Irish compiled by Michal Boleslav Měchura. Available here.
- Irish Surname Index published by National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin and Fiontar, Dublin City University on the website Dúchas.ie. Available here.
COMHAR is grateful to the aforementioned parties for making these data sets publicly available.