Broadcasting Partnerships

The Archive has an ongoing productive relationship with the national broadcasters of Ireland and Britain – RTÉ, TG4, BBC – and with independent media producers.

RTE Logo and link to RTE site

The Archive is currently cooperating with the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ in two major radio and television projects.

In the radio project the archives of Irish traditional music of RTÉ Radio, dating back to the 1940s, are being remastered, copied and catalogued for public access in the Archive. Over 15,000 items have been processed to date and many programmes drawn from them have been broadcast.

In the television project Archive staff have researched and presented since 1994 the traditional music holdings of the early decades of RTÉ Television (1961–91) and other television and film archives, and presented a popular programme of archival footage Come West along the Road. In thirteen series to date, more than 1,300 historic performers of Irish traditional music have been brought to the screen in over 160 programmes, and in a published video and three DVDs of selected performances. Audiences of up to a quarter of a million view each episode.

Come West Along the Road 3  DVD

In addition, over 25 hours of RTÉ Television material dating from the 1960s to the 1980s has been transferred to DVD and catalogued, and are now available for public consultation in the Archive. The next phase of this on-going project, which has commenced, involves the transfer and cataloguing of all thirteen series of Come West along the Road.

TG4 Logo and link to TG4 site

The Irish-language version of Come West along the Road is entitled Siar an Bóthar and it is broadcast on TG4, the national Irish-language broadcaster. To date, ten series of Siar an Bóthar (over 110 programmes) have been broadcast, researched and presented by Archive staff in cooperation with TG4.

BBC Radio Logo and link to BBC Radio site

A cooperative project of the Archive and of the BBC and the National Sound Archive of the British Library in London by which the BBC's radio archive of sound recordings of Irish traditional music, some 2,000 performances from the 1940s to the present, was copied by Glenn Cumiskey (sound engineer, ITMA, 1992-2003) in 1997. This project was made possible through the cooperation of Sally Hine, then Sound Archivist of the BBC; Alan Ward, then Head of Curatorial Services of the National Sound Archive; Peter Copeland, then Conservation Manager of the National Sound Archive; and Malcolm Taylor, Librarian of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. A selection of this material researched and presented by Archive staff has been broadcast on BBC Radio. A further selection of Scottish, Welsh, English and Manx traditional music from the BBC was copied in 2005.

Broadcasting Partnerships Image
Nicholas Carolan recording Come West along the Road in the Archive library