Heritage Week 2021 - Cnuasach an Bhreathnaigh


Welcome to ITMA's first gallery of images for Heritage Week 2021. The images presented below are from Cnuasach an Bhreathnaigh (the Breandán Breathnach Collection) which was the foundation collection of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Breandán Breathnach, 1912–1985, was a great expert in Irish traditional music — an uilleann piper, collector, publisher, writer and organiser. His collection contains sound recordings, music manuscripts, printed items, a thematic index of dance tunes, and personal papers and was deposited in trust to the Irish Traditional Music Archive by the Breathnach Family in August 1987.

Breathnach's image collection consists of photographs, both in colour and back & white, negatives, slides, postcards, etc. and covers a wide range of topics relevant to Irish traditional music, song and dance. His huge passion for the uilleann pipes and uilleann piping is very much evident throughout his collection.

Heritage Council Funding 2021

ITMA’s unique image collection now stands at over 21,700 items. Many of these exist in obsolete physical formats only which limits access to this material to those who can visit the ITMA premises in Merrion Square, Dublin. This year (2021) the Heritage Council has awarded ITMA a grant to digitise, preserve and make accessible, to archival best practice, some 4,500+ slides, negatives and photographs from the collections of two highly significant figures in Irish traditional music: Breandán Breathnach (1912-1985) & Gráinne Yeats (1925-2013).


Heritage Week 2021 - Cnuasach an Bhreathnaigh