Heritage Week 2021 - Aoyama Harp Workshop Gráinne Yeats Collection


ITMA’s fifth Heritage Week 2021 gallery is a beautiful set of colour images from the Gráinne Yeats Collection. During a concert tour of Japan in the autumn of 1972 Gráinne and her husband Michael Yeats travelled by train to Fukui city which is located on the Japan Sea coast in the Chubu (central) region of Japan. There they visited the Aoyama harp factory and collected a nylon strung lever harp which had been made especially for Yeats. The gallery below is a record of their trip to Aoyama on the 9 October 1972. This harp was one of a number of harps that Yeats performed on. It can be heard on the iconic recording published by Gael Linn in 1980 and re-issued in 1992 Féile na gCruitirí Bhéal Feirste 1792: the music collected by Bunting at the historic Belfast Harpers Festival 1792.

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 - Aoyama Harp Workshop Gráinne Yeats Collection