Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, today launched Meitheal Dúchas.ie and folklore material from two new counties, Kerry and Kildare. The launch took place in Dublin City University this morning. Dúchas.ie is a joint project between the National Folklore Collection (UCD), Fiontar (DCU), and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
There are approximately 160,000 pages of folklore and handwritten local history on Dúchas.ie. This includes content from Dublin, Mayo, Donegal, Waterford, Galway, Leitrim and now Kerry and Kildare which was taken from the Schools’ Manuscript Collection – a large collection of folklore gathered and written by primary school students in the 1930s. Meitheal Dúchas.ie now gives the public a chance to transcribe some of the handwritten Irish language material.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said: “I am delighted to launch Meitheal Dúchas.ie today. This is a significant and innovative project which allows users of Dúchas.ie to engage with Irish-language material from the Schools’ Collection in a new way by transcribing the folklore stories. The transcribed stories will add greatly to the search facilities on the site, as users will be able to carrry out detailed searches.
“I am delighted, as well, to launch material from Kerry and Kildare, the two latest counties to be digitised and indexed by the Dúchas team. Both counties have a strong folklore tradition and this treasure from the Schools’ Collection shows that. The publication of the Kerry material, in particular, will add greatly to the Irish-language material on Dúchas.ie, and interested readers can try their hand at transcribing that material by registering with Meitheal Dúchas.ie.”
There are 31,125 pages from Kerry and 3,383 pages from Kildare now available. Interest in the site Dúchas.ie (www.duchas.ie) is growing steadily as new counties come on stream. To date, the site has received over 1.85 million hits and 110,186 visits since it was launched.