Tuesday 10 January 2023

Unique collection of folklore from the Aran Islands launches online

A new site – Bailiúchán Béaloidis Árann – has been launched to showcase the Folklore of Árainn Collection, a unique mix of material collected by the people of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. While many collections of island folklore have been created since the 19th century, this is the only one created by islanders themselves.

It is hosted on the National Folklore Collection's Duchas.ie, which most Irish genealogists will know as the online home of the Schools Collection (and others), but the new repository can also be accessed directly at https://bba.duchas.ie.

This free resource features a specially curated selection of material from the original collection, and holds 917 photographs of island life, past and present, and more than 100 audio files featuring stories, folklore and music from the residents of Inishmore, presenting a wealth of speech, sayings, and traditions that have now passed from local memory.

Some of the conversations, nearly all in Irish, have been transcribed.

The digital platform provides access to the collection not only for the islanders but also to those interested in folklore, history, traditions, and culture. It also helps Bailiúchán Béaloidis Árann preserve and cultivate the island's heritage.