The National Folklore Foundation was officially launched last week at a celebratory event in the Constitution Room at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.
A spin-out company of University College Dublin with charitable status, the foundation has been established to preserve, protect and promote Ireland’s National Folklore Collection at UCD, which represents over 100,000 contributors and a wealth of material reflecting an important strand of Ireland’s national memory.
Since its inception, the collection has overseen the documentation, preservation and dissemination of the various strands of folk culture, urban and rural, that represent Ireland’s memory.
Now the National Folklore Foundation has been established to ensure that the work of the collection can continue and be made accessible to all.
Preservation and conservation of the unique archive of printed, recorded and photographic material are an essential and ongoing part of the work of the collection and the National Folklore Foundation. Much of the material is fragile by nature and is subject to wear and tear from handling, unsuitable storage conditions and the passage of time.
“It is vital that The National Folklore Foundation is supported as an organisation that ensures the safety and guardianship of the wealth of Irish Folklore in existence,” said Prof Declan Kiberd, who spoke at the launch of the foundation. “This is our opportunity to support the preservation of these treasures for generations to come and I am delighted to be here today to celebrate that.”
That preservation includes the Schools Collection (1937-1938), a large body of copy books from schools nationwide currently being digitised and published online at Duchas.ie.