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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Cork and Offaly folklore materials complete online Schools' Collection

Folklore and local history material from Counties Cork and Offaly has been uploaded to the National Folklore Collection's free website, Duchas.ie and completes the online Schools' Collection.

In this latest and final instalment, the material was prepared by children attending more than 450 schools in County Cork and 90 schools in County Offaly.

The Collection as a whole consists of more than half a million pages of handwritten stories and reports gathered and written by some 50,000 primary school pupils across the 26 counties between 1937 and 1939.

The site can currently be searched by place, by person and by topic, and it has material from almost every parish in Ireland.

A special feature of the site is Meitheal Dúchas.ie, a crowdsourced transcription initiative. At the beginning of 2015, the public was invited to help Dúchas.ie by transcribing the text of the Irish-language stories in the Schools’ Collection. Since the start of this year, every story in the collection, both Irish and English, is available for transcription and a dedicated community of transcribers eagerly undertake this work. To date the voluntary transcribers of the Meitheal have transcribed over 35,000 pages, making Meitheal Dúchas.ie one of the most successful crowdsourcing projects of its kind in the world.

Launching the final upload and marking the successful completion of the Schools' Collection project, Seán Kyne, TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, said: ‘I am delighted to launch the two final counties of the Schools’ Folklore Collection. This wonderful resource is now available to the public in its entirety. It is of great importance not only as a primary source for the academic researcher but also as a treasure trove for everyone around the world who has an interest in Ireland.’