Government supported website provides incredible photographs from the past

More than 10,000 historic pictures from Ireland’s past, including many from Cork, have been added to a folklore website, Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said.

“The new redesigned website and Photographic Collection was launched in Dublin last night (Tuesday). Roughly 10,000 photographs from the Collection have been digitized, catalogued and made available for the first time on the site.

“This is an incredible new resource for Cork and indeed wider Ireland. A large number of the photographs date from the early 20th century, providing a fascinating insight into our past.

Image from The Photographic Collection at The dwelling house, Rockchapel, Co. Cork

“The Collection contains photographs taken by professional photographers and by collectors working with the National Folklore Commission, amongst others, and are classified under 14 different topics including: festivals; holy wells; settlement; folklore collection; and games and pastimes.

Image from The Photographic Collection at farm implements, Knockadoon, Co. Cork

“Although it’s fair to say that there is a particular emphasis on country life, towns and cities were not neglected. The majority of urban photographs relate to Dublin, in particular to the folklore collection initiative which took place at the start of the 1980s, and contains an interesting record of the various aspects of life in the capital city.”

In addition to this, material from each of the 26 counties that took part in the Schools’ Scheme in 1937-39 is also available on the website. Meitheal, a transcription project, began in Spring 2015 and is one of the most successful crowdsourced projects of its kind in the world. Some members of the Meitheal from Ireland, Canada and the United States were in attendance at the event yesterday.

Senator Lombard added: “Fine Gael places enormous importance on our national history and heritage and on the preservation of all our folklore and historic photographs. Putting all these resources online will allow people from Cork, to Donegal, to the Irish diaspora overseas to witness our past from their laptops and mobile devices.”

“This new version of the website will provide an additional perspective on Ireland’s rich and varied heritage with thousands of photographs from different times and places made easily available via the browsing facilities.

“This new collection will add to the value of as a digital heritage resource. For specialist researchers in the fields of folkloristics, local history, archaeology, genealogy, linguistics, and a range of other disciplines, the site offers considerable research potential.”



The Dúchas project is the result of a partnership, beginning in 2012, between the National Folklore Collection in UCD, one of the largest folklore collections in the world, UCD Digital Library and Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, the Irish-medium teaching and research unit in DCU.

The objective of the project is to digitise the National Folklore Collection and make it available to the public online. The project is co-funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with support from the National Lottery and by University College Dublin. The project has also benefitted from the financial support of the National Folklore Foundation.

27 September 2017

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