Special Collections

The foundation collection of the Irish Traditional Music Archive was the Breandán Breathnach (1912-1985) Collection.

Since 1987 the Archive has been entrusted with the care of hundreds of collections from private collectors, families and organisations. Copies of material have also been acquired from major institutional collections: RTÉ radio and television, BBC radio, TG4 television, the National Library of Ireland, the Bodleian Library, the Library of Congress, the British Library, the Boston Public Library, etc.

ITMA Special Collections

Collection Title Description
RTÉ Radio Collection
RTÉ Television Collection
BBC Radio Collection
Breandán Breathnach Collection

the Archive’s foundation collection, made by the great expert in Irish traditional music who died in 1985. It contains sound recordings, music manuscripts, printed items, a thematic index of dance tunes, and personal papers

Hugh Shields Collection

Sound recordings made chiefly across Ulster 1966–81

Diane Hamilton Collection

Sound recordings made throughout Ireland 1955–62

Prionsias Ó Conluain Collection

Printed items and sound recordings, mainly in Irish, made throughout Ireland 1963–82

Aidan O’Hara Collection

Sound recordings made in 1975–79 in areas of Irish settlement on the south shore of Newfoundland

Alun Evans Collection

Sound recordings made 1968–74 of the Donegal fiddle player John Doherty

Jimmy McBride Collection

Sound recordings and videos made 1983–96 of singers from the Inishowen peninsula, Co. Donegal

Na Piobairí Uilleann Collection

Sound recordings made 1970–90 at annual meetings of uilleann pipers, chiefly by Tom Munnelly

Folkmusic Society of Ireland Collection

Printed reports and sound recordings of lectures and recitals organised by the Society in Dublin 1973–97

National Library of Ireland Collection

Some 2,000 photocopies of the main ballad-sheet collection of the Library, 18th–20th century

Tony Kearns Collection

Photographs taken 1990s and 2000s

Leslie Shepard Collection

Ballad sheets, chapbooks, and books, originals and copies, 18th–20th century

Robert Van Dyk Collection

Dubs of 78s, 1920s–50s

Neillí Ní Dhomhnaill Collection

Sound recordings of the Donegal traditional singer, mostly in Irish, made 1973–78

Folklore and Folkmusic Society of Co Clare Collection

Sound recordings of lectures and recitals organised by the Society 1982–89

Johnny O’Leary Collection

Sound recordings and music transcriptions of the Kerry accordion player Johnny O’Leary made by Terry Moylan 1981–95

Jim Carroll – Pat Mackenzie Collection

Sound recordings made in West Clare and among Irish travellers in London 1973–91

Alen MacWeeney Collection

Sound recordings of traveller singers, musicians and storytellers made in Dublin 1965–71

Harding Collection of Sheet Music (Irish and Irish-American items only)

Some 1,500 photocopies of originals in Bodleian Library, Oxford, 18th–20th century

Willie Clancy Summer School Collection

Sound recordings, photographs and videotapes, etc., made at the school in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s

Mike Casey Collection

Sound recordings of flute music made in East Galway, with thesis and transcriptions, 1989–92

Bernard Croke Collection

Commercial sound recordings and printed music collected in Philadelphia, 1950s–90s

Nellie Walsh Collection

Music manuscripts, sheet music and books, and correspondence of the Wexford singer and song columnist of Ireland’s Own, 1950s–90s

Séamus Ó Raghallaigh Collection

Sound recordings including off-air recordings, 1960s–90s

Sean Ó Riada Collection

Sound recordings relating chiefly to Ó Riada’s radio and concert work, 1960s

Stray Leaf Folk Club Collection

Sound recordings of performers appearing at a Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh club, 1990s

Éamon de Buitléar Collection

78s and other sound recordings, 1930s–70s

Máire Áine Ní Dhonnchadha Collection

Sound recordings of Connemara singer, 1950s–70s

PJ McCall Collection

Song scrapbooks copied from originals in the National Library of Ireland, 19th–20th century

Patrick Melvin Collection

Sound recordings of music, made mainly in Co Galway by Patrick Melvin

Tom Greene Collection

Sound recordings made in the midlands by Patrick ‘Master’ Greene, donated by Tom Greene

Mícheál Ó hAlmhain Collection

Sound recordings of interviews with Séamus Ennis

Joe Vaughan Collection

Sound recordings made in west Co Clare, including piping by Willie Clancy

John Donegan Collection

Sound recordings made in counties Mayo and Galway

Des Garvey Collection

Sound recordings made mainly in Galway city

Catherine Foley Collection

Sound recordings from family, made by Catherine Foley

Mick O’Connor Collection

Sound recordings made by flute player Mick O’Connor, mainly in Dublin city

Paddy Boyle Collection

Sound recordings made by Paddy Boyle, mainly in London

Chris Corlett Collection

Sound recordings made by the Corlett family, mainly in Dublin city

Pat Mitchell Collection

Sound recordings of the uilleann pipes

Josephine Keegan Collection

Sound recordings made by Josephine Keegan, partly in London

Dáibhí Ó Cróinín Collection

Sound recordings made chiefly in the Munster Gaeltacht, 1950s–60s

Robin Morton Collection

Sounds recordings made chiefly across Ulster, 1960s–70s

Tony Knowland Collection

Sound recordings made in north Connemara by Tony Knowland, including the Rainey brothers

Louis Quinn Collection

Sound recordings made on trips to Ireland by the Armagh / New York musician Louis Quinn

Paul Eliasberg Collection

Photographs of the William Kennedy Piping Festival, Armagh, 2004–10

Ken Garland Collection

‘The Singing’ an exhibition containing 70 portraits of traditional singers taken at festivals in Derry City; Slieve Gullion, Co Armagh; Inishowen and Fahan, Co Donegal, 1999

Sunday Tribune Collection

Publicity photographs from the Sunday Tribune newspaper, 1980s–1990s

Danny Diamond Collection

Photographs taken by Danny Diamond while recording at various events on behalf of the Archive, 2010s

ITMA Cylinder Collection

Some 100 cylinder recordings from early 20th century with particular representation of uilleann piper Patsy Touhey, 1900s

Bill Meek Collection

Commercial recordings, books and magazines, scrapbooks, 1960s–80s

Dermot McLaughlin Collection

Commercial recordings with particular representation of ethnic fiddle styles, 1960s–80s

Tom Munnelly Collection

Commercial sound recordings, books, magazines and manuscripts, 1960s–2000s

Oireachtas Library Collection

Books and sheet music, with a particular representation of Irish-language material, early 20th century

Maura McConnell / McConnell Family Collection

Non-commercial sound recordings, 1960s–80s

Reilly Family / Fr Seán Ó Coinn Collection

Music manuscripts and early printed music, 19th–20th centuries

Ciarán Ó Coincheanainn Collection

Commercial sound recordings, 1990s–2000s

Vincent Duffe Collection

Commercial sound recordings, 1950s–80s

Pádraig Ó Mathúna Collection

Scrapbooks, ephemera, photographs and slides, music manuscripts, 1930s–70s

Úna Wolfe Brennan Collection

Sheet music, manuscripts, mainly mid-20th century

John Loesberg Collection

Books, manuscripts, digital music files, 1960s–2000s

Danny O’Donnell Collection

Non-commercial sound recordings with particular representation of Donegal fiddle playing, 1960s–90s

John Brennan / Peter Sorenson Collection

Commercial and non-commerical discs, 1920s–50s

Geoff Harden Collection

Non-commercial sound recordings with particular representation of folk-club performances, 1960s

ITMA Ephemera Collection

Programmes, brochures, posters, etc., with particular ongoing donations from Peter Browne, John Moulden, Fintan Vallely and Judy Walsh

Tony Mac Mahon Collection

Manuscripts, photographs, non-commercial video tapes, 1940s–1990s

D.K. Wilgus-Elenor Long Collection

Research notes on English language traditional song, 1960s–1990s

Ritchie Piggott Collection

Manuscripts, books