Irish Folk Music

A great many singers and musicians were recorded by the Irish Folklore Commission, perhaps the most celebrated of these being the piper Johnny Doran, recorded in 1947. Many of the 3,000 pages of original sheet music in the Collection are the work of Séamus Ennis, who was employed for several years by the Commission.

These early recordings of music are complemented by the work of the folk music collector, Breandán Breathnach, whose extensive collection of music and song was transferred from the Department of Education to University College Dublin in 1974. Members of Breathnach’s team of collectors, notably Tom Munnelly, were employed by UCD to continue this valuable collecting work.

The Irish Folk Music Section of the National Folklore Collection is also home to a collection of manuscripts and books dealing with almost every aspect of music, song and dance, including English-language songbooks from the 18th century, and an important collection of 19th century broadsheet ballads.

We ask that visitors contact us to make an appointment to view our collections.