25th Anniversary Year of the Irish Traditional Music Archive Completed

ITMA Online Catalogue Reaches 900,000+ Content Items with the Addition of Non-Commercial Materials ITMA Interactive Music Scores Reach 3,000+ with the Addition of Historic Galway-Mayo Song Collection

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Today, 29 July 2013, ends a 25th anniversary year of publications, events, projects and publicity marking the foundation of the Irish Traditional Music Archive / Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann at a meeting in the Arts Council in Dublin in 1987.

Items of the programme have included

  • The uploading to the ITMA Online Catalogue, a year ago today, of a huge increment of catalogue information, and the addition of another such increment today as reported below;
  • The introduction of Thursday late-night opening of the collections in 73 Merrion Square;
  • The creation of the 2,000-item Inishowen Song Project microsite in association with the Inishowen Traditional Singers Circle, and its launch in Donegal and on the ITMA website, among the online publication of hundreds of other digitised items;
  • A lunch-time fiddle recital by Paddy Glackin (former ITMA Board member) and Dermot McLaughlin (current Board Chairman);
  • A recital-lecture by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin (former ITMA Board Chairman) & Nicholas Carolan (current ITMA Director) in the National Library of Ireland on ITMA’s Neal Collection of 1724, and an appearance by Mícheál on the RTÉ Radio 1 John Murray radio show;
  • The hosting of a lecture-demonstration by Chris Wright of Tobar an Dualchais, the online Scottish traditional recordings archive;
  • A lecture on the musical connections of the Square for the Merrion Square Network given by the Director with music by Liam O’Connor and song by Pádraig Ó Cearbhaill, both current ITMA Board members;
  • Television partnerships with the national broadcasters RTÉ and TG4 reaching the landmark transmissions of a 15th series of Come West along the Road and 12th series of Siar an Bóthar, and the publication of a 4th CWAR DVD;
  • A guest blog by ITMA Librarian Grace Toland on the EU Europeana website, to which ITMA has contributed hundreds of digitised items;
  • A major retrospective article by the Director on ‘The Irish Traditional Music Archive at Twenty-Five’ in Brio: Journal of the International Association of Music Libraries (UK & Ireland), and other international print coverage in the London folk magazine Froots;
  • Special editions of the radio programmes The Rolling Wave by Peter Browne on RTÉ Radio 1 and Aos Dána – Irischlár Ealaíne by Dónall Mac Murchaidh on Radió Fáilte, Belfast; a feature on RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime; and a forthcoming edition of the TG4 interview television series Comhrá.
  • A social media etc. footprint during the year on the ITMA Online Catalogue and its YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter etc. pages, of over 240,000.
  • Among the many important pieces of silent work completed during the year has been the editing by Lisa Shields and setting by Jackie Small of the second and final volume of the ITMA’s Tunes of the Munster Pipers. This is now in a camera-ready state for printing, and funding for its publication is being sought.

ITMA remains the largest collection in existence of the materials of Irish traditional music and of information on the music. Now that its 25th anniversary year is complete, it will continue with its work of building up its holdings of materials and information, and will continue to innovate in bringing its services to the Irish traditional music community world-wide. Surprises await – bí ar an airdeall!

Catalogue Records for Non-Commercial Materials Uploaded

A large increment of catalogue records for non-commercial materials (field recordings, private recordings, photographs, etc.) have been added to the ITMA Online Catalogue today for the first time. These are for items in the collection which were created by private collectors and donated to ITMA, or were created by ITMA staff on location or in studio. With today’s substantial addition, the ITMA online catalogue now contains more than 900,000 content items of data searchable here.

Interactive Music Scores for Historic Galway-Mayo Song Collection Uploaded

Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla is a classic collection of traditional songs in the Irish language, one of the relatively few to contain notated melodies as well as words. These songs were collected in Co Galway and Co Mayo by Mrs Eileen Costello of Tuam in the early 20th century, and were published in London in 1919 and again in Dublin in 1923. Their 84 melodies are now available here for playback and reading, and – a new feature of the ITMA system – in PDF format for convenient printing. These melodies now bring to over 3,000 the number of traditional Irish melodies of all kinds available as interactive scores on the ITMA website.

The work of the Irish Traditional Music Archive is made possible by the year-on-year support of its main funders An Chomhairle Ealaíon / The Arts Council in Dublin and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in Belfast, by the in-kind support of the Office of Public Works, by funders of specific projects, and by individual donors of material, information and money, especially through its support group Friends of the Archive.