Researchers at Maynooth University and Trinity College Dublin, in conjunction with the Humanities Virtual Worlds Consortium and The Andrew W Mellon Foundation, have developed a virtual world to allow researchers and members of the public a novel way to understand the engagement.
Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge provides a thoroughly annotated computer model of the site of action as it appeared during Easter 1916.
The battle has been described, militarily speaking, as the most successful rebel engagement in Dublin.
Though eventually defeated, the rebels held up two nearly full-strength British battalions (some 1,750 soldiers) for several hours on April 26, 1916, and the significant British casualties inflicted by a small band of Volunteers served as a powerful piece of propaganda, emphasising the bravery and sacrifice of the rebellion.
The director of the project, Susan Schreibman, said it would serve as a tool for investigating how the battle unfolded, including the number of casualties inflicted on British forces.
The project employs a combination of traditional and digital research methods to create a new platform to investigate the battle. The project team and collaborators include military historians, ballistic experts, architects, digital humanists, programmers, and virtual heritage specialists, as well as virtual world development from Dublin-based Noho.
Maynooth University president Philip Nolan said the project was an excellent example of how modern technology can transform the academic research and bring the past to life.