€1.75 million to fully digitise the National Folklore Collection

By: January 9, 2014
'Páistí scoile', An-Blascaod-Mór, by Thomas Waddicor, 1932. Copyright: National Folklore Collection, UCD 'Páistí scoile', An-Blascaod-Mór, by Thomas Waddicor, 1932. Copyright: National Folklore Collection, UCD

Dúchas.ie, is a new Irish folklore repository, the first part of the National Folklore Collection at UCD to be ‘digitised’.

Dúchas.ie currently features over 64,000 pages of hand-written folklore and local history recorded in 1937-38 by Irish schoolchildren in counties Dublin, Mayo, Donegal and Waterford.

The material, part of the National Folklore Collection at UCD, comprises over 500,000 pages recorded by some 50,000 school children in over 5,000 schools in 26 participating counties.

It was recently announced that €1.75 million of new funding, provided by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and UCD, will also go into the main phase of ‘digitising’ the rest of Ireland’s National Folklore Collection.

The National Folklore Collection at UCD is one of the largest folklore collections in the world. The collection comprises ca. two million manuscript pages, ca. 500,000 index cards, ca. 12,000 hours of sound recordings, ca. 80,000 photographs and ca. 1000 hours of video material.

“I have spent almost forty years working with the National Folklore Collection and the fact that it is on the road to digitisation and global access represents the fulfilment of a long term vision. The true potential of the project will only be realised in future decades and cannot be fully imagined today,” says An tOllamh Ríonach uí Ógáin, UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics and the director of the National Folklore Collection at UCD.