Cullinane Archive Collection to be Preserved in ITMA

ITMA is delighted to announce that the Cullinane Archive Collection of Irish dance, created by Dr John Cullinane, will be housed in the Irish Traditional Music Archive thanks to an agreement reached between Dr John Cullinane, An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha and ITMA.

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Dr John Cullinane, Cork, July 2021

Over the last number of months ITMA has been working with Dr John Cullinane and An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) to secure a home for the Cullinane Archive Collection (CAC). In July 2021 Dr John Cullinane donated his collection to CLRG. In an agreement reached between ITMA and CLRG this unique collection of Irish dance related materials is now being placed on deposit in ITMA where it will be preserved, organised and made available on behalf of CLRG.

The CAC will be a wonderful addition to ITMA's collections and an invaluable resource for local, national and international Irish traditional dance communities. I have very much enjoyed working with John on the logistics of the safe transfer of materials to ITMA and look forward to continued support from both John and CLRG in the processing of this unique collection.

Maeve Gebruers, ITMA Archivist

The Cullinane Archive Collection (CAC)

CAC is an extensive multimedia collection of material relating to the history of Irish dance compiled by Dr John Cullinane over his lifetime. The collection includes: published books and periodicals, academic theses, non-commercial sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, historical documents, newspaper clippings, ephemera (event programmes, posters, flyers etc.) and artefacts (including costume items, medals, etc.). The collection is currently located in Cork city.

Dr John Cullinane

A champion dancer, John has devoted his life to collecting and documenting Irish dancing initially in Ireland but subsequently throughout the world. On his own initiative and with boundless energy, he interviewed dance teachers and pupils all over the globe in the days before the mass popularity of Irish dancing due to Riverdance. John shared his knowledge and meticulous research on Irish dancing published through many scholarly articles and books. He is rightly regarded as a leading authority in this area and the dancing community is privileged to have his encyclopaedic knowledge of diverse facets of Irish dancing.

As Director of ITMA, I am honoured and delighted that Dr Cullinane and CLRG have entrusted this collection, which is of national and international importance, to our care. By processing this archival collection in line with international best standards, this wonderful material will be made accessible to the public free of charge. I am very excited to see what scholars, researchers, dancers, musicians and historians produce from engaging with John’s archive in the future. It is truly John’s gift to the public. ITMA in partnership with CLRG will ensure that his life’s work will be accessible to present and future generations. Míle buíochas a Sheáin. Táimid fíor-bhuíoch duit agus táimid fíor-bhuíoch do Bhord CLRG.

Liam O'Connor, September 2021

The first transfer of materials from the CAC took place earlier this month and ITMA looks forward to receiving more transfers in the coming months.