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Photographic Collection

The National Folklore Collection includes some 80,000 images, chiefly the work of staff of the Irish Folklore Commission and its successors. It also contains a number of valuable early collections of photographic prints, glass plates, lantern slides and negatives. These images form a valuable record of Irish folklife in the 20th century, and include rare portraits of individual storytellers, singers and musicians

Kevin Danaher (Caoimhín Ó Danachair), who was employed as a folklife expert for many years by the Commission, was a prolific and accomplished photographer. Other members of the Commission, such as audio specialist Leo Corduff, have also contributed substantially to the photographic collection. Maurice Curtin, a friend of the Commission, contributed a large number of excellent photographs over many years. Their work is gradually being digitized and sample exhibitions of their work will be featured in this website.

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“Wren Boys”, St. Stephen’s Day Dredging oysters in Clarinbridge Bay Oyster seller

The Urban Folklore Project: 1979-1980

A large number of valuable photographs of people, places and scenes were taken in Dublin in the years 1979-80, as part of the Department of Irish Folklore’s “Urban Folklore Project”.

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Boy Holding Reins
National Folklore Collection