Doctoral research

I worked with the Cork Folklore Project for my PhD, to assess their participation in online forms of dissemination. The aim was to study the impact and benefits of a community-based narrative place-making project and to gather data used for the development of guidelines for the execution and review of online cultural heritage projects.

Part of my practical work included the creation of digital oral history maps (the Cork Memory Map and a smaller project on oral histories of North and South Main Streets in Cork).


Johnston, P. (2018). Understanding value in digital humanities: a case study from a community oral history archive. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.


Johnston, P. (2016). Stories of place: presenting the local in an online world. In T. Collins, G. Kindermann, C. Newman, & N. Cronin (Eds.), Landscape Values: place and praxis (pp. 149–153). Galway: Centre for Landscape Studies, NUI Galway.(Stories of Place Johnston in Landscape Values Place and Praxis proceedings. The entire conference proceedings are available for download here.)

Johnston, P. (2015). The Cork Folklore Project and social media. The Archive, 19, 26. (The Archive is a popular magazine published by the Cork Folklore Project and distributed, at no cost, across Cork city.)


Johnston, P. (2017). Review of Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement by D.A. Boyd and M.A. Larson (Eds.), Béascna 10, pp. 164-168. (Summary e-print: Summary Review Oral History and Digital Humanities_Beascna).


Responsible or free? Curating oral histories online, at the Digital Arts and Humanities Colloquium in the DH Learning Space at UCC, 25 October 2017. [Slides:Responsible or free.]

Writing reflexively, finding “I”, at a Postgraduate research seminar in the Department of Folklore and Ethnology/Béaloideas, UCC, 14 March 2017. [Slides:Writing reflexively when it does not come naturally.]

The elf in my thesis: (auto)ethnographic research and a DH PhD, at the Digital Arts and Humanities Colloquium, University College Cork, 8 February 2017. [Slides: The elf in my thesis_PRES. Notes: Notes_The elf in my thesis.]

Stories of Place: a new memory map of Cork city (with James Furey and Laura Murphy) at the Oral History Network of Ireland conference at University College Cork, October 2016. [Slides: ohni-memory-map-project-showcase_group.]

Stories of Place. Presenting the local in an online world at the Landscape Values: Place and Praxis conference at National University of Ireland, Galway, June 2016. [Notes: Johnston_Stories of Place_LV_2016_Notes.]

Some words about place in digital space as part of the Digital Arts and Humanities Research Colloquium 2015/2016 at University College Cork , March 2016. [Notes: 2016_PJ_ DAHColloq_PresNOTES.]

Local voices worldwide conversations (research updates) at Béaloideas/Dept. of Folklore and Ethnology, University College Cork December 2015. [Slides: FL_PhD_Pres_PJ-slides.]

Main Street? Creating a digital oral history of urban decline at the Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts conference in Dublin City University, September 2015. [Notes here . Slides: Main street slides. Paper based on this presentation: DRHA2015_ConfProc_submission_Johnston_Main Street.]

The Cork Folklore Project: Collecting, Archiving & Disseminating by Cliona O’Carroll and Penny Johnston at the Oral History Research Network in University College Cork, June 2015.

Is Intangible Culture Different? Looking at Ideas of Digital and Immaterial in the Oral History Archive at the Digital Material conference, panel 5, in the National University of Ireland, Galway, May 2015. [Slides: Is intangible culture different_slides.]

Unstable materials. Memory, oral history and digital preservation as part of the Digital Arts and Humanities Research Colloquium 2014/2015 at University College Cork, January 2015. [Slides: Unstable materials -Presentation Copy.]

Local, digital, global: assessing local cultural heritage resources online at the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference, University College Cork, December 2014. [Slides: postgraduate conf 2014 slides.]

Can digital outreach help oral history groups build communities? at the Oral History Network of Ireland in Kilkenny, Sept 13 2014. [Slides: Johnston_P_OHNI_2014_Digital outrreach and oral history slides.]

Local voices, worldwide conversations Ignite presentation at the Digital Arts and  Humanities Institute in University College Cork, Sept 3, 2014 [Slides: Johnston-UCC.]

Getting to know your digital audience: a case study from the Cork Folklore Project with Clíona O’Carroll at the Oral History Society conference, Manchester Metropolitan University July 19, 2014 [Slides: Penny J getting to know your digital audience. Conference abstract p.15]


New narratives online: re-contextualising the oral history archive at the DARIAH Ireland launch at the National University of Ireland Maynooth May 2015. [Notes: here . Poster: New narratives online5 .]

Local voices, worldwide conversations at Digital Humanities 2014 #dh2014 in Lausanne July 2014. Abstract: [Notes: local voices poster 2 .]

Maps, space and place in digital oral history at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute DHSI, June 2014 at the University of British Columbia, Canada. [Notes: Maps space and place FINAL 1 .]

Research details

The research was funded by the Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme (2013) and was carried out as part of a structured PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities and at Béaloideas/Department of Folklore and Ethnology at University College Cork.