RASCAL (Research And Special Collections Available Locally) developed from a two year mapping project based at with funding from the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) to create and develop a new electronic portal to research and special collections in Northern Ireland. Arising out of an identified need to improve access to collections in the region, RASCAL represented a collaborative initiative to enhance awareness among researches regarding resources available in Northern Ireland and to make more efficient use of local resources.
The original RASCAL partnership included:
- Queen's University Belfast
- The University of Ulster
- Library & Information Services Council (Northern Ireland)
- Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
- Linen Hall Library
- Belfast Public Libraries
In 2008 the original project based resource was expanded to include collections throughout Ireland in association with the Committee on Library Co-operation in Ireland. RASCAL is administered and managed by Information Services at Queen's University Belfast. As host institution, Queen's University is committed to maintaining long term access to the RASCAL Directory and to ensure that the information contained in it remains current and up-to-date. New collection descriptions are now being added regularly, some of the more recent additions include those of the Royal Irish Academy, University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin.
The core RASCAL website was last updated in August 2010.