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The foundation collection of the Irish Traditional Music Archive was the Breandán Breathnach (1912-1985) Collection.

Since 1987 the Archive has been entrusted with the care of hundreds of collections from private collectors, families and organisations. Copies of material have also been acquired from major institutional collections: RTÉ radio and television, BBC radio, TG4 television, the National Library of Ireland, the Bodleian Library, the Library of Congress, the British Library, the Boston Public Library, etc.


ITMA Special Collections

Collection Title Description
RTÉ Radio Collection
RTÉ Television Collection
BBC Radio Collection
Breandán Breathnach Collection The Archive’s foundation collection, made by the great expert in Irish traditional music who died in 1985. It contains sound recordings, music manuscripts, printed items, a thematic index of dance tunes, and personal papers
Hugh Shields Collection Sound recordings made chiefly across Ulster 1966–81
Diane Hamilton Collection Sound recordings made throughout Ireland 1955–62
Prionsias Ó Conluain Collection Printed items and sound recordings, mainly in Irish, made throughout Ireland 1963–82
Aidan O’Hara Collection Sound recordings made in 1975–79 in areas of Irish settlement on the south shore of Newfoundland
Alun Evans Collection Sound recordings made 1968–74 of the Donegal fiddle player John Doherty
Jimmy McBride Collection Sound recordings and videos made 1983–96 of singers from the Inishowen peninsula, Co. Donegal
Na Piobairí Uilleann Collection Sound recordings made 1970–90 at annual meetings of uilleann pipers, chiefly by Tom Munnelly
Folkmusic Society of Ireland Collection Printed reports and sound recordings of lectures and recitals organised by the Society in Dublin 1973–97
National Library of Ireland Collection Some 2,000 photocopies of the main ballad-sheet collection of the Library, 18th–20th century
Tony Kearns Collection Photographs taken 1990s and 2000s
Leslie Shepard Collection Ballad sheets, chapbooks, and books, originals and copies, 18th–20th century
Robert Van Dyk Collection Dubs of 78s, 1920s–50s
Neillí Ní Dhomhnaill Collection Sound recordings of the Donegal traditional singer, mostly in Irish, made 1973–78
Folklore and Folkmusic Society of Co Clare Collection Sound recordings of lectures and recitals organised by the Society 1982–89
Johnny O’Leary Collection Sound recordings and music transcriptions of the Kerry accordion player Johnny O’Leary made by Terry Moylan 1981–95
Jim Carroll – Pat Mackenzie Collection Sound recordings made in West Clare and among Irish travellers in London 1973–91
Alen MacWeeney Collection Sound recordings of traveller singers, musicians and storytellers made in Dublin 1965–71
Harding Collection of Sheet Music (Irish and Irish-American items only) Some 1,500 photocopies of originals in Bodleian Library, Oxford, 18th–20th century
Willie Clancy Summer School Collection Sound recordings, photographs and videotapes, etc., made at the school in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s
Mike Casey Collection Sound recordings of flute music made in East Galway, with thesis and transcriptions, 1989–92
Bernard Croke Collection Commercial sound recordings and printed music collected in Philadelphia, 1950s–90s
Nellie Walsh Collection Music manuscripts, sheet music and books, and correspondence of the Wexford singer and song columnist of Ireland’s Own, 1950s–90s
Séamus Ó Raghallaigh Collection Sound recordings including off-air recordings, 1960s–90s
Sean Ó Riada Collection Sound recordings relating chiefly to Ó Riada’s radio and concert work, 1960s
Stray Leaf Folk Club Collection Sound recordings of performers appearing at a Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh club, 1990s
Éamon de Buitléar Collection 78s and other sound recordings, 1930s–70s
Máire Áine Ní Dhonnchadha Collection Sound recordings of Connemara singer, 1950s–70s
PJ McCall Collection Song scrapbooks copied from originals in the National Library of Ireland, 19th–20th century
Patrick Melvin Collection Sound recordings of music, made mainly in Co Galway by Patrick Melvin
Tom Greene Collection Sound recordings made in the midlands by Patrick ‘Master’ Greene, donated by Tom Greene
Mícheál Ó hAlmhain Collection Sound recordings of interviews with Séamus Ennis
Joe Vaughan Collection Sound recordings made in west Co Clare, including piping by Willie Clancy
John Donegan Collection Sound recordings made in counties Mayo and Galway
Des Garvey Collection Sound recordings made mainly in Galway city
Catherine Foley Collection Sound recordings from family, made by Catherine Foley
Mick O’Connor Collection Sound recordings made by flute player Mick O’Connor, mainly in Dublin city
Paddy Boyle Collection Sound recordings made by Paddy Boyle, mainly in London
Chris Corlett Collection Sound recordings made by the Corlett family, mainly in Dublin city
Pat Mitchell Collection Sound recordings of the uilleann pipes
Josephine Keegan Collection Sound recordings made by Josephine Keegan, partly in London
Dáibhí Ó Cróinín Collection Sound recordings made chiefly in the Munster Gaeltacht, 1950s–60s
Robin Morton Collection Sounds recordings made chiefly across Ulster, 1960s–70s
Tony Knowland Collection Sound recordings made in north Connemara by Tony Knowland, including the Rainey brothers
Louis Quinn Collection Sound recordings made on trips to Ireland by the Armagh / New York musician Louis Quinn
Paul Eliasberg Collection Photographs of the William Kennedy Piping Festival, Armagh, 2004–10
Ken Garland Collection ‘The Singing’ an exhibition containing 70 portraits of traditional singers taken at festivals in Derry City; Slieve Gullion, Co Armagh; Inishowen and Fahan, Co Donegal, 1999
Sunday Tribune Collection Publicity photographs from the Sunday Tribune newspaper, 1980s–1990s
Danny Diamond Collection Photographs taken by Danny Diamond while recording at various events on behalf of the Archive, 2010s
ITMA Cylinder Collection Some 100 cylinder recordings from early 20th century with particular representation of uilleann piper Patsy Touhey, 1900s
Bill Meek Collection Commercial recordings, books and magazines, scrapbooks, 1960s–80s
Dermot McLaughlin Collection Commercial recordings with particular representation of ethnic fiddle styles, 1960s–80s
Tom Munnelly Collection Commercial sound recordings, books, magazines and manuscripts, 1960s–2000s
Oireachtas Library Collection Books and sheet music, with a particular representation of Irish-language material, early 20th century
Maura McConnell / McConnell Family Collection Non-commercial sound recordings, 1960s–80s
Reilly Family / Fr Seán Ó Coinn Collection Music manuscripts and early printed music, 19th–20th centuries
Ciarán Ó Coincheanainn Collection Commercial sound recordings, 1990s–2000s
Vincent Duffe Collection Commercial sound recordings, 1950s–80s
Pádraig Ó Mathúna Collection Scrapbooks, ephemera, photographs and slides, music manuscripts, 1930s–70s
Úna Wolfe Brennan Collection Sheet music, manuscripts, mainly mid-20th century
John Loesberg Collection Books, manuscripts, digital music files, 1960s–2000s
Danny O’Donnell Collection Non-commercial sound recordings with particular representation of Donegal fiddle playing, 1960s–90s
John Brennan / Peter Sorenson Collection Commercial and non-commerical discs, 1920s–50s
Geoff Harden Collection Non-commercial sound recordings with particular representation of folk-club performances, 1960s
ITMA Ephemera Collection Programmes, brochures, posters, etc., with particular ongoing donations from Peter Browne, John Moulden, Fintan Vallely and Judy Walsh
Tony MacMahon Collection Manuscripts, photographs, non-commercial video tapes, 1940s–1990s
D.K. Wilgus-Elenor Long Collection Research notes on English language traditional song, 1960s–1990s
Ritchie Piggott Collection Manuscripts, books
Derek Bell Collection An extensive multi-media collection created by Derek Bell, 1935–2002, harpist, oboist, arranger, composer, researcher, recorded artist and member of the Chieftains. Made during his lifetime this collection includes music manuscripts, sound recordings, printed items, photographs, personal papers, artefacts, musical instruments, 1940s-2000s
Gráinne Yeats Collection An extensive multi-media collection created by Gráinne Yeats, 1925–2013 a professional harper, singer, teacher, arranger, historian and recorded artist. Made during her lifetime this collection includes printed books, music manuscripts, photographs, slides, lecture scripts, diaries, music arrangements (mostly for the Irish harp), research notes, ephemera, artefacts, and commercial & non-commercial sound recordings, 1950-2013
TG4 Gradam Ceoil Collection Audiovisual Archive 1998-
Fr Quinn Collection Sound recordings
Tom Davis Collection Sound recordings, non-commercial video and ephemera, 1960s–2010s
Liam O’Flynn Collection Extensive multimedia collection created by Liam O’Flynn, 1945–2018 uilleann piper and recorded artist. Made during his lifetime the collection includes published books and periodicals, commercial and non-commercial sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, original and photocopied music scores, correspondence, newspaper clippings, reviews, ephemera (event programmes, posters, flyers etc.), business related papers (contracts etc.) and research notes, 1970s-2010s
Tomás Ó Canainn Collection Extensive multimedia collection created by Tomás Ó Canainn, 1930-2013 uilleann piper, accordion player, singer, poet, writer, composer, researcher, broadcaster and lecturer. Made during his lifetime the collection includes manuscripts, printed items, ephemera (posters, flyers, programmes etc.), photographs, film reels, research papers, lecture scripts, scrapbooks, commercial/non-commercial sound and video recordings (LPs, audio cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes etc.), 1970s–2010s
Cullinane Archive Collection (CAC)

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.).