New Hardiman Research Building and NUI Galway School of Psychology officially opens

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn TD today opened two new buildings at NUI Galway; the Hardiman Research Building for research in the humanities and social sciences, and a new home for the University’s School of Psychology.

The new buildings, with a combined investment of €23 million, will offer world-class teaching, learning and research facilities for staff, students and the public.

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Built by Galway based JJ Rhatigan and Company, The Hardiman Research Building, is situated at the heart of NUI Galway’s campus, adjacent to the James Hardiman Library. Home to NUI Galway’s unique collection of more than 350 literary, theatrical, political and historical archives, the Hardiman Research Building will house the digitised Abbey Theatre Archive, the world’s largest digital theatre archive, in development since 2012. The project is featured in the current issue of Irish Building Magazine and can be viewed by clicking this link.

Hardiman-NUIG-2An exhibition of the digital Abbey Theatre Archive opens to the public for the first time today to mark the launch of the Hardiman Research Building. The ‘Performing Ireland’ exhibition features a taste of the more than 1 million items that comprise the Abbey Theatre Archive, dating from 1894.

The Hardiman Research Building brings together the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. The Moore Institute is a leading voice in digital humanities, medieval and early modern history and literature and travel and cultural encounter. The Whitaker Institute, honouring the enduring contribution of public servant T.K. Whitaker, is the largest national business and social science institute on the island. Together these institutes have secured nearly €30m in competitive funding awards.

The new NUI Galway Psychology building opened today by Minister Quinn brings both students and staff under one roof for the first time in the School of Psychology’s 40-year history. A new electro-physiological laboratory will further enhance the School’s standing as a centre of excellence for Health Psychology; it counts two of Ireland’s total of six Health Research Board Leaders amongst its 20 staff. Built at a cost of €8m, the Psychology building will cater for more than 200 students.

Funding for this project was made through HEA and Department of Education and Skills, with additional support from private sources.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Ruairí Quinn said: “The investment we celebrate today is a very welcome enrichment of facilities to support the humanities and social sciences at NUI Galway. The Hardiman Research Building is a unique platform for digital humanities and social sciences research in Ireland and will further develop NUI Galway’s reputation as a major international research centre in the field of digital humanities”

NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “these new, landmark buildings at the heart of our campus are testament to the breadth of the humanities and social sciences; from the creative arts to the complexity of the mind. They will be centres of education and research, home to future generations of scholars and to NUI Galway’s unique collection of archives from the past.”


NUI Galway Librarian John Cox shows Minister Ruairí Quinn and NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne some photographs of 19th century Connemara from the Arthur J. Balfour Album, a volume in the James Hardiman Library’s special collections, housed in the new Hardiman Research Building. The Balfour Album of photographs was originally created in 1893-1895 by the Belfast photographer, Robert John Welch.

The €15 million Hardiman Research Building project was partially funded under the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund.  €10 million of funding was provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through PTRLI Cycle 5 and the balance from private sources through Galway University Foundation.

The ‘Performing Ireland 1904-2014’ exhibition to mark the opening of the Hardiman Research Building and the NUI Galway Psychology building is open to the public in the foyer of the Hardiman Research Building and will run until October. Further details available at