The Written Note

An exhibition in the Irish Traditional Music Archive of music manuscripts dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, with online computer-mounted scans and interactive music scores, 25-30 August 2014, 2.00 to 4.30 pm


While many Irish traditional song-texts, notations of instrumental music, and descriptions of dances have been published over the last 300 years, a great deal of such material remains unpublished in manuscript form. Since its foundation, ITMA has been collecting manuscripts (including typescripts) which document Irish traditional music, and it now has a substantial collection of song notebooks, handwritten music, research notes, index filecards, publicity material, letters and other correspondence, etc.

To mark Heritage Week 2014, and the recent award of a grant to ITMA by the Heritage Council for the archival storage and preservation of its music manuscripts, a small but representative collection of these manuscripts will be on display to the general public in the premises of ITMA at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, from 25 to 30 August 2014, 2.00 to 4.30 pm. The exhibition is mounted in ITMA's newly opened Special Collections Room, where the entire manuscript collection is housed.

The new room was opened by Colette O'Flaherty, Keeper of Archival Collections in the National Library of Ireland and Chief Herald of Ireland, at a ceremony in 73 Merrion Square on 25 August which was attended by members of the Irish library community and other friends of ITMA.

The Special Collections Room also gives online intranet public access to ITMA's entire special collection of original sheet music (some 4,000 items) and to its special collection of historic digitised sound recordings, including cylinders and 78s (over 1,000 items). It also provides a point of access to all ITMA collections for wheelchair users.

The Heritage Week 2014 online details for the exhibition are here.

With thanks to Colette O'Flaherty, NLI, and to An Chomhairle Oidhreachta / The Heritage Council.