There are three PW Joyce music manuscripts in the collections of the National Library of Ireland, which are reproduced here courtesy of the Library. They are Joly MS 25 (fair-copied tunes chiefly collected by Joyce on holiday in Limerick in July and August 1856), and MSS 2982–2983 (which together form a large and somewhat disorderly single collection from which Joyce intended to draw his next published collection). They contain tunes and the words of song recollected from his childhood or collected by him in his native area in the 1840s and 1850s, and extensive copyings from the manuscripts of other collectors: James Goodman especially, William Forde, John Edward Pigot, and a variety of correspondents. Many are manuscript cuttings pasted in from other sources, and are usually but not always in the hand of Joyce himself.


Early Joyce Manuscript, 1856

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Irish airs collected by P.W Joyce, chiefly in Co. Limerick, 1856

Joyce’s Final Manuscripts, 1889-1912

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Joyce was still working on what would have been his final collection at the time of his death in 1914, and the two working manuscripts from which it was to be drawn were supposedly found on the table beside his bed.

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