Illustrating Tradition: Maps from the Schools’ Collection

Users of the 1937-1939 Schools’ Collection often comment on the beautiful handwriting of the contributing students. Indeed, it was often the student with the neatest handwriting who copied the chosen material from the smaller copybooks to the larger, final manuscripts now bound into the Schools’ Collection and available online on dúchas.ie. The careful handwriting is … Continue reading Illustrating Tradition: Maps from the Schools’ Collection

Holy Wells and Sacred Trees: Interference with the natural world

While legal and religious factors have long guided our moral compass, our traditional code of right and wrong has also been informing individual conduct for a considerable amount of time. In oral tradition, particular behaviours deemed to be unacceptable are often followed by examples of what happens when this code is ignored. Among the prohibitions … Continue reading Holy Wells and Sacred Trees: Interference with the natural world

Part-time Collecting for the Irish Folklore Commission

In general, I may say that these part-time collectors have been excellent, because we do our best to pick them carefully. -Seán Ó Súilleabháin, 1950 On walking into the archive of the National Folklore Collection (NFC), you are greeted by walls of numbered manuscripts. To your right are the rolling shelves holding the bright green … Continue reading Part-time Collecting for the Irish Folklore Commission

Culture and Tradition and the Protestants of Independent Ireland

The Protestant ascendancy, and members of the wealthy upper middle classes, have tended to dominate in discussions of the Protestants of independent Ireland, with little knowledge of the cultural or folk aspects of Protestants’ identity and behaviour or of the socio-economic diversity of Irish Protestants. In particular, the experiences of rural and urban working-class Protestants … Continue reading Culture and Tradition and the Protestants of Independent Ireland