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
How often do we take the time to consider the words we use to communicate? What do they reveal about our own history, and cultural heritage? Can one dialectical nuance yield all our secrets? There is a little-known collection within the National Folklore Collection UCD that seeks to shed some light on these complex questions. … Continue reading What’s in a word?
“Your name must, and will always be, associated with the rescue at the last moment of Irish tradition.” Praise indeed when one considers that the author of such words was Séamus Ó Duilearga, honorary director of the Irish Folklore Commission (1935-1971), who was himself credited by many as being the driving force in the race … Continue reading History Recorded and History Remembered
‘I think I’ll remember all these experiences for the rest of my earthly days. I feel I’ve been immersed in a great wave that has impregnated my whole mind and being...’ So reads one of the final diary entries written by the artist Simon Coleman RHA as his field work with the Irish Folklore Commission … Continue reading Portrait of an Artist as a Folklore Collector
Dr F.S. Bourke, (1895-1959) medical doctor, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Physicians and bibliographer assembled a private library of some 9,000 items reflecting his interests in Irish history, literature, culture and society over his lifetime until his death in 1959. Francis Stephen Bourke was born on the 14/15th July 1895 in High Street, … Continue reading Bourke the Bibliographer
So boasts the publicity poster for that cinematic ‘classic’ Darby O’Gill and the Little People, released by Walt Disney Productions in 1959, and detailing the adventures of a wily Irishman as he tries to outwit a local band of leprechauns. Long recognised as a quintessential representation of stage ‘Oirishness’ it starred Albert Sharpe as the … Continue reading ‘It’s a wonderful world of love, laughter, and leprechauns’