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  • The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History will be offered at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 on Monday evenings from September 2016 until April 2017. The course consists of 70 hours part time and the course will equip participants with skills in the preparation and conduct of oral history projects, including best practice in the collection and archiving of oral history interviews. The closing date for course applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 16 September 2016. Dublin City Council offers two Bursaries for candidates taking the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History, and closing date for bursary applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 9 September 2016
    Full details of bursary and course application can be downloaded online or please email Dublin City Library and Archive with details of your postal address to request print versions.

  • ‘Óglaigh na hÉireann 1913-1918 The Irish Volunteers’ exhibition was officially launched in Louth County Archives by Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Councillor Peter Savage on Tuesday 16th February 2016.
  • Leading European Research Project showcases half a million resources on Medieval and World War I history from over 1,200 institutions across the globe One of the largest historical archive platforms worldwide Read More .......

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National Folklore Collection Story Box 2016

Established in 1935, the Irish Folklore Commission pioneered a revolutionary new approach to the collection of folklore in Ireland. Looking to collect and preserve the country’s oral tradition, the Commission hired full-time collectors from across the island to record and transcribe native tales, legends, traditions and customs, many of which faced extinction owing to the on-going effects of emigration, language decline and urbanisation. Focusing first on Irish language-speaking rural areas, the work of the Commission soon expanded to include English-speaking regions, both rural and urban. Here below we see three of our collectors at work, where for the first time they were recording tales and memories verbatim, that is word for word as spoken, so as to preserve as authentic a representation of the oral tradition as possible. Significantly, they also collected valuable contextual data on their informants and materials, allowing future scholars the opportunity to engage creatively with the raw data, discerning distribution patterns, migratory patterns and so on.

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As a result of the boundless zeal and dedication the Commission’s full-time, and later part-time, collectors over 2000 volumes of manuscript material was collected and this is now held by the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, a successor to the Commission.  Encompassing popular oral literature in the form of narrative tales, songs and poems; in-depth descriptions of Irish material culture and vernacular architecture; descriptions of calendar customs and cultural history, the collection is recognised as one of the richest in western Europe, covering all aspects of human life. Here below is a sampling from those early manuscript materials


The transcribed manuscript volumes held by the National Folklore Collection are further complemented by its rich photographic archive, as well as its audio and film collection, its specialist library and its breath-taking art collection. Enjoy a few samples below from these collections, depicting a number of key aspects of Irish folk life and tradition – music, religion, livelihood and festival customs

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But folklore is not simply a matter for the history books, it is a living tradition and the work of the National Folklore Collection continues. Currently there are two new folklore collection projects underway – the Irish Traveller History Project and the Irish Protestant Folk Memory Project – both intended to document these two under-represented traditions in Irish life. Why not stay up-to-date with the archive’s activities by liking them on Facebook ( or by following them on Twitter (@bealoideasucd)

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