Heritage Week 2022. LP Sleeves, 1960s–1980s


ITMA was delighted to hear in April 2022 that it had been awarded a Community Heritage Grant from the Heritage Council for its project “Physical to Digital: A Complete Scanning Solution for the Irish Traditional Music Archive.” This funding has enabled ITMA to purchase a state-of-the-art specialised large format archival scanning system. Presented below is a collection of LP covers which have been digitised for Heritage Week 2022 using this new scanner.

The scanner which was manufactured by I2S a French company who specialise in image capture and processing is A2 in size. This machine enables ITMA to scan a range of large-format materials which we have been unable to do in-house in the past. Materials like large-sized sheet music, posters, LP covers, a wide range of manuscripts, printed books, periodicals and images. This specialised equipment will future-proof the safe in-house digitisation of all this material for many years to come.

Watch the behind-the-scenes video which documents the installation of this new state-of-the-art scanning system and read our Heritage Week blog here.

Heritage Week 2022 - ITMA Scanner - YouTube

The ITMA LP Collection

The Irish Traditional Music Archive has over 4,100 LPs in its collection.

The 1950s was the first full decade in which the new long-playing vinyl discs (LPs) were on sale. Being easily scratched or warped, the discs were sold in stiff cardboard sleeves, unlike their predecessors, the 78 rpm discs, which normally came in printed paper bags (and sometimes in cardboard ‘albums’ like photograph albums). The cardboard sleeves gave record companies the opportunity to use graphic design to set up favourable associations for the music on the records and thus attract customers. The typical disc was 12 inches in diameter (some were 10) and the sleeves provided a large image surface for artists and photographers. (Nicholas Carolan, 1 October 2011)

The LPs presented here are from a collection recently donated to ITMA by the Mac Ionnraic Family. They mostly date from the 1970s and 1980s with one published in 1968 by Gael Linn – Trup, trup, a chapaillín. The collection includes recordings of Irish and English language songs as well as instrumental music. Many of the artists and groups popular at the time are represented in this collection including Clannad, De Dannan, The Black Family, Moving Hearts, etc.

The selection presented here is only the tip of the iceberg, with this new large-format scanner ITMA hopes in time to scan every LP cover in its collection!

Another gallery of LP sleeve designs from the 1950s is available here.

With thanks to the Mac Ionnraic Family.

Heritage Week 2022. LP Sleeves, 1960s–1980s