Messages from ITMA Director and Chair

Míle buíochas do gach éinne a thug tacaíocht dúinn agus a bhain úsáid as an Taisce i mbliana. Rinneadh dul chun cinn mór i rith na bliana ó thaobh bailliú, caomhnú agus cur chun cinn an cheoil.

A message from ITMA Director, Liam O'Connor

Gabhaim buíochas leis an fhoireann agus le Bord TCDÉ.

2022 saw very significant progress on an archiving, artistic and public engagement fronts. While ITMA’s Annual Report 2022 will give a much more detailed account of our achievements, activities and performance, I would like to share some of the major developments users can expect to benefit from in 2023:

  1. ITMA will launch a new website with significant new functionality in Q2 2023. I believe it will revolutionise how users engage with our digital content and offer a more personalised experience and scale-up the body of archival material accessible to online users.
  2. Significant development of the premises to improve the space we offer to archivists, artists, researchers and visitors.
  3. ITMA will continue to ramp-up its digitisation capacity for both physical paper-based materials and audio materials. This will enable us to transform our collections from physical to digital and to further democratise access to the archive.
  4. ITMA will continue to foster its relationships with local communities, national bodies and develop new international partnerships.
  5. ITMA will continue its interrogation of our internal processes and policies while liaising with external international experts as we seek to be at the forefront of international best practice in archiving, library and digital preservation standards. The archival team have developed new work flows, conducted significant research and identified new ways for ITMA to continually embrace, tailor and implement best international practice throughout our archival and digital operations.
  6. ITMA will develop a new Strategy that articulates our vision, mission and maps out our plans for the coming five years.
  7. Drawing from the Well in all of its various manifestations will be brought to new audiences on TV, online and on concert stages. Artists will be commissioned to engage with archival material to inspire new works that can be shared with the public.
  8. Saoithe, in-depth long format interviews with master musicians, singers and dancers will continue to grow as we prioritise collecting and preserving rare and at-risk knowledge from the tradition bearers and key exponents in our living tradition.
  9. Saothar, new tunes for the tradition, will continue to feature composers of new melodies in the traditional idiom.
  10. New digital exhibitions on the Séamus Ennis manuscripts, Tommy Peoples, a film with Brendan Gleeson documenting the traditional music community in Hughes Pub are among the projects ITMA will be making publicly accessible in 2023.
  11. Pigot Manuscript Collection is being edited for publication in 2023 as ITMA bring another important 19th century manuscript collection to the public.

I would like to thank all of our friends and donors who helped ITMA in 2022. Without the additional donations, we could not have realised our ambitions on many projects in 2022.

I would like to acknowledge two very significant financial donations which will open up extensive new opportunities to grow the Archive in 2023 beyond our current funding limitations. These were truly transformative and come at a time when the Archive needs to broaden its funding envelope beyond the existing model.

A special word of thanks to our friends and supporters in New York and the US who are helping to promote the work and aims of ITMA to a new audience.

I’d like to thank everyone who has engaged with the Archive, from the artists, researchers, partners, visitors, online users and all those who worked with us on projects.

We are very grateful to the Arts Council of Ireland who remain ITMA’s primary funder since 1987. Led by its Director, Maureen Kennelly, its Traditional Arts Officer Paul Flynn and his team, the Arts Council have supported ITMA in realising many of its ambitions by awarding ITMA’s largest ever funding in 2022. We are also grateful to the OPW who provide us with the beautiful premises at 73 Merrion Square and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for their annual funding.

Athbhliain faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh go léir

Liam O’Connor

A message from Brian Montague, chair of the ITMA Board

2022. Another busy year for the ITMA team! Too many highlights to list though always at the heart of our work are new collections and this last year has seen some extraordinary material trusteed to us including the Larry Redican and Henry Family Collections, truly exceptional lifetime material, Dr John Cullinane’s unique dance archive and even this week, we were honoured to receive Len Graham’s and Padraigín Ní Uallacháin’s collections, one for all lovers of the Ulster song tradition. 

We received the exciting news in recent weeks that we are to be the recipient of funds under the Shared Island Initiative which will enable us to redevelop our Mews building into a residential facility for artists and to invest further in our digitisation capability which firmly establishes us as the leading sound digitisation facility in the country. 

It was also hugely fulfilling to bring to the National Concert Hall two wonderful concerts, one to celebrate the life and music of Liam O’Flynn, whose collection we house, and the other to celebrate the artists and material from our Drawing from the Well series.

These showcases bring to life often previously unheard material which, in the hands of gifted artists, is presented to a wide audience trough real-time performance and, in perpetuity, on-line.

In doing so Drawing from the Well shares these extraordinary treasures from the Archive and encourages more people than ever to access the material. 

We are excited about the opportunities that the New Year will bring, supported by greater in-house facilities, a talented and dedicated team and the strongest funding base ever for the organisation. 

I invite you all to participate in that journey.

Beannachtaí na Nollag

Brian Montague