Schools' Folklore Scheme 1937-1938
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. (ucd.ie/irishfolklore). Click on the buttons below to view the scripts.
Dúchas.ie 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 duchas.ie/en/cbes.
Duchas.ie 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.