The Centre for Migration Studies developed from the research library for the Ulster American Folk Park. This was in existence from 1980 approx. In 1990 the WELB on behalf of the 5 Education & Library Boards took over the running of the Library and appointed a Librarian (Christine McIvor) & Database Manager (John Winters). The library operated from a temporary building until 1993, when a new purpose built building was officially opened. At this stage a Senior Library Assistant/Clerical Officer (Mrs Christine Johnston) was also appointed by the WELB. In 1996 the Library was officially named Centre for Emigration Studies. A MSSc in Irish Migration Studies in conjunction with QUB was instigated in September 1996, taught by Dr John Lynch from QUB & Dr Patrick Fitzgerald from the UAFP. This continues to run successfully. The name of the Centre was changed to its present name in 1998 with the appointment of a Director – Dr Brian Lambkin. It was felt that Migration was a term which better explained the ethos of the Centre, by encompassing emigration, immigration, internal migration & return migration. Dr Patrick Fitzgerald was also appointed at this time to the CMS and is now Lecturer & Development Officer. The Centre has a Management Committee made up of the Scotch-Irish Trust and representatives from WELB, QUB and other interested organisations. The Centre continues to support the UAFP & its staff in their research, but is also involved in research, teaching & publication on its own behalf. We are a national centre for the research of Irish Migration history and researchers are always welcome to visit and use the collection and the Irish Emigration Database. CMS Vision is of ‘an informed community, confidently and creatively engaged with its migration history, culture and heritage’. CMS Mission is ‘to serve the community as a leading international institution for the study of human migration, focusing on the peoples of Ireland world-wide’.
Research Centre for Migration Studies.