UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies 
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish StudiesUCD Crest



Drawing on materials represented in the IVRLA digital archive this project will explore how our understanding of what constitutes cultural heritage and the effects of migration on cultural inheritance have shifted within a seventy five year time frame. The project takes as starting points two surveys undertaken by the Irish Folklore Commission during the 1930s and the 1950s. The project will seek to replicate aspects of these surveys in order to facilitate an interdisciplinary analysis of the ways in which issues around Irish culture and the experience of migration in Ireland have changed, and to begin an exploratory dialogue between the past assumptions and present realities of the Irish social and cultural landscape.

  • Schools Folklore Scheme 2009/10
  • Immigration to Ireland Questionnaire 2009/10
  • An analysis and comparison of the results of the above two projects with those of their earlier counterparts.
  • An important part of this will consist of the holding of an international interdisciplinary conference on the subject


This scheme will be based on and adapted from the Irish Folklore Commission’s 1937 - 38 Schools Folklore Survey


  • Analyse the topics included in the IFC Handbook and the holdings from a small number of selected schools from the archive.

  • Draw up a new ‘handbook’ of topics relevant to contemporary Irish culture which will ‘mirror’ those
    of the original scheme.

  • Distribute the new handbook to participating primary schools in Dublin, Meath and Kildare counties.

  • Teachers will distribute this material to their 5th and 6th class students who will then proceed to collect folklore information concerning their local area.

  • Digitise the returned material and upload it to the IVRLA digital archive where will be available for access by researchers or any other interested parties.

Schools participating in the pilot are successor institutions to schools included in the original survey. Added attention will be given to the materials collected by those children who had a grandparent or relative who took part in the original scheme.

The handbook will be available online for any schools beyond the participating start-up group to download and complete.


This questionnaire will be based on and adapted from the Irish Folklore Commission’s 1955 Emigration to America Questionnaire


  • To draw up a questionnaire on immigration to Ireland which will ‘mirror’ the IFC’s 1955 Emigration to America Questionnaire.

  • The questionnaire will be distributed to migrants to Ireland and will seek to access the perceptions and impacts of emigration in their home countries.

  • Initial questionnaire will focus on a sample grouping of selected immigrant nationalities and will be administered via nominated collectors from the Women Writers in the New Ireland network.

  • The materials collected will be digitised and uploaded to the IVRLA digital archive.

  • An audio repository of selected immigrant interviews will also be created.

Questionnaire forms and interview guidelines shall be made available for download for further expansion of the project across the various immigrant nationalities.