Interns at ITMA: Céline Jourdan

Each year ITMA offers interns from different disciplines an opportunity to gain experience in their particular area of interest or career development. Mentored by ITMA staff, interns are encouraged to contribute to specific projects, and leave their mark on the archiving of Irish traditional music.  Today we meet Céline Jourdan who tells us a little about herself and her experience working in ITMA.

Celine Jourdan Blog Image
Céline Jourdan, Intern at ITMA 2021

My journey started in 2009 when I spent a year in Belgrade, Serbia, where I was amazed by the popular tradition of music. Once back to France, I started taking a sociology evening class. As I loved it, while working as a software engineer - which is my initial training - I passed a remote undergraduate Diploma of Sociology and Ethnology with the University of Strasbourg, writing my thesis about traditional music and dance from Serbia. 

In 2013, I had the opportunity to work in digital humanities, developing online dictionaries for endangered languages collected by ethnolinguistics researchers. I moved to Dublin in 2015, where I visited the Irish Traditional Music Archive and discovered the richness of Irish traditional music. 

In 2019, it was time for me to start an MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology at University College Dublin. I am currently writing my thesis about the contemporary expressions of the mumming tradition in Ireland. As part of the masters, I chose to do an internship in ITMA over March and April 2021. 

I have been contributing to two projects so far. The first one is the Pádraig O’Keeffe project*. I created a box-list for the collection, created records in ITMA’s Catalogue (Soutron), and digitised the original copied Pádraig O’Keeffe manuscripts. I will continue by creating an index then entries in the back-end of the ITMA website using the Dublin Core metadata standard. 

The blackberry blossom, reel, from the Pádraig O'Keeffe Mac Aoidh-Horan Manuscript

The second project is the **Gráinne Yeats Collection. I have indexed all the slides in order to get them digitised. 

Unprocessed Photographic Slides from the Gráinne Yeats Collection at ITMA

I am enjoying my work, contributing to the diffusion of this precious material to the public. Moreover, ITMA has so many resources relative to mumming: books and articles obviously, but also photographic and audio visual material. 

​Last but not least, I was so warmly welcomed by the staff that I really feel integrated in the ITMA team!
Céline Jourdan, April 2021

* The ITMA Pádraig O'Keeffe Project

In September 2015 fiddle player and author Caoimhín Mac Aoidh donated a collection of copies of Pádraig O'Keeffe manuscripts to ITMA. The donation coincided with an event to mark the retirement of ITMA Director Emeritus Nicholas Carolan and was a "small but genuine tribute" by the donor "to offer the collections on this occasion." 

The manuscripts were sourced mainly from O’Keeffe’s pupils and in a limited number of cases from others. By the 1980s Mac Aoidh had amassed this significant collection which were given freely to him and once photocopied the original manuscripts were returned to their owners. 

As well as the manuscripts the collection contains handwritten music transcriptions by Mac Aoidh of 700 tunes in total.

ITMA is now working on making this collection available to the public on our website. It hopes to have a selection of the content online in time for World Fiddle Day, 22 May 2021.

**The Gráinne Yeats Collection at ITMA

ITMA acquired the Gráinne Yeats Collection in April 2018 thanks to the generosity of the Yeats Family. The collection is multi-media in nature and includes: printed books, music manuscripts, photographs, photographic slides, lecture scripts, diaries, music arrangements (mostly for the Irish harp), research notes, ephemera, artefacts, and commercial & non-commercial sound recordings (acetates, vinyl, reel-to-reels, audio cassettes etc.). Gráinne's immense professional and personal interest in the Irish harp is very much reflected in this collection.