Schools' Folklore Scheme 1937-1938

Clarecastle Boys National School 1938
Mickey McNamara
Clarecastle National School 1935
John Power
Ballyea Boys School 1935
Cissie Collins
Ballyea Girls School 1935
Cissie Collins

Clarecastle and Ballyea National Schools

In 1937 the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history.

Over a period of eighteen months some 100,000 children in 5,000 primary schools in the twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State were encouraged to collect folklore material in their home districts. The topics about which the children were instructed to research and write included local history and monuments, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, songs, customs and beliefs, games and pastimes, traditional work practices and crafts, etc. The children collected this material mainly from their parents and grandparents and other older members of the local community or school district. Now known as the Schools’ Manuscript Collection, the scheme resulted in more than half a million manuscript pages of valuable material. ( Click on the buttons below to view the scripts.




Dú is a project to digitize the National Folklore Collection of Ireland. The objective of the project is to provide online access to a significant portion of the Schools’ Collection (1937-38) by the end of 2016. New material is being added on a phased basis. Material from eight counties in the Schools’ Collection is now available at is a partnership between (1) the National Folklore Collection, UCD, (2) Fiontar, DCU and (3) the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is involved in an advisory role with regard to standards and inter-operability in digital archiving.



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