Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Dubois on Irish Folklore

February 27 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Exploring Irish Folklore of the 1930s using the Meitheal Dúchas Schools Collection

Professor Thomas Dubois, Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+

In person in 2335 Sterling Hall, and online (advanced registration required for online attendance).

Watch a recording of the talk here

(Note: you need to be logged in to Zoom to access the recording. Sign in first here. If you don’t have a Zoom account, you can sign up for one free.)

In 1937, the Irish Folklore Commission embarked on a grand experiment: to enlist middle-school students in rural Irish schools in interviewing their parents, relatives, and neighbors about various folklore topics. With the help of their teachers, students would learn about Irish folktales, legends, customs, food traditions, etc and  produce hand-written records of what they found out from local adults. Over the course of the years 1937-39, some 5000 rural Irish schools participated in the project, with some 50,000 students producing records that totalled a phenomenal 740,000+ pages of folklore notations.  The “Schools Collection” is an unmatched source of information about Irish folklore of the 1930s, but for a long time it was largely inaccessible to the general public. In 2013, all of that changed when the Irish government began a digitization project with crowd-sourced transcription known as Meitheal Dúchas. In this presentation we’ll look at the Schools Collection, the Meitheal Dúchas site, and the many things we can learn about the Irish Free State of the 1930s by exploring the digitized records of Irish school children/folklorists.

This event is part of the UW-Milwaukee / UW-Madison Bi-campus Irish Culture Week.


This talk is generously co-sponsored by Language Sciences, the Language Institute, the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+, the Folklore Program, and the Center for European Studies.


February 27
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category: