English Market goes interactive

By Geraldine Fitzgerald

Cork’s famed English Market attracts visitors from all over the globe, and a new website by a UCC student recalls its history in fascinating detail.

Student Daniella Traynor created an interactive website to explore the socioeconomic history of the English Market as her final year project for UCC’s Digital Humanities and IT degree.

She used maps, video, and data visualisations to outline the changes to the English Market over years of redevelopment, fire and a changing food


Exploring SHUA (Socioeconomic History of Urban Areas) was developed by Daniella to use digital tools in an engaging way to examine the history of culturally rich urban areas.

The English Market is an institution that “survived revolution and war, fire and famine, depression and boom, changing tastes and intensifying competition, as well as a rapidly changing socioeconomic, food and retail environment,” said Daniella.

She added: “It’s the first place I take people when they come to visit me in Cork, so it’s ideal to showcase the method of using deep maps. I wanted to produce a digital artefact that goes beyond its academic application to tell the story online.”

Archival video footage and various source materials act as a guide through the tumultuous history of the English Market from the early 20th century to modern day.

The site shows the market’s place in Cork culture, while focusing on the detail of the history of individual traders, and the ebb and flow of the various stalls over time.

“I learned not only about the tools and technologies involved in deep mapping, but the captivating story of the market we know and love today,” she added.

Surprisingly, until Daniella’s project launched there was no publicly available map of the current internal layout of the Market nor any comparative maps of the changes through the years.

She said: “Huge thanks to Cork City Council for being so helpful throughout the process and allowing me to bring the project to life. Also, I had the support of the incredible Digital Humanities department at UCC where I learned so much and was able to combine my passion for computing with my interest in society and history. I was so grateful for the opportunity.”

“I hope to use my qualifications to pursue a career in humane technology to promote and preserve local and national communities, using a digital approach,” she concluded.