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Changing Ireland: Cultural Heritage and Migration

Abstract Drawing on materials represented in the IVRLA digital archive this project explores 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.

In collection

Date
1937/2009
Extent
9 items
Location of original
Original items located in UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies
Repository
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies
Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive
Language
English
Scope and Content
Drawing on materials represented in the IVRLA digital archive this project explores 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 seeks to replicate aspects of these surveys while also adapting them 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. In doing so, it begins an exploratory dialogue between the past assumptions and present realities of the Irish social and cultural landscape.
SCHOOLS' FOLKLORE SCHEME 2009/10:
This pilot project carries on in the spirit of the 1937-8 Schools' Scheme, using it as a base for developing a modern schools' folklore scheme examining the remnants and remembrances of cultural heritage. However, it departs from the original survey’s rationale as an instrument of documenting extant national heritage and endeavours to develop more inclusive means of activating and documenting new and emerging forms of heritage in today's rapidly changing and culturally diverse Ireland today. The mains aims of the project are to:
  • Analyse the topics included in the Irish Folklore Commission’s Handbook along with the holdings from a small number of selected schools in the archive;
  • Draw up a new handbook of topics relevant to contemporary culture, inspired by those of the original scheme but allowing for an inclusive, open-ended and iterative process;
  • Distribute the new handbook to nine selected primary schools (three each in Dublin, Meath and Kildare). Teachers will distribute this material to their fifth and sixth class students who will select modules that are of particular interest/relevance to their curricular responsibilities and work with the students to produce textual, visual and/or digital materials which can be submitted back to the project team; and
  • Digitise the returned material and upload it to the IVRLA digital archive where it will be available for access by researchers and other interested parties.
MIGRATION TO IRELAND PROJECT 2009/10:
In his 1955 study, Arnold Schrier examined the impact of Irish emigration on Irish culture in the post-Famine period. This interest in the impact of emigration on home cultures as fundamental to our pilot project, but reflecting the shift in the early 21st century from emigration out of Ireland to immigration into Ireland, we explore instead the impact of migration on the home cultures of people who have migrated to Ireland. What are the perceptions of Ireland in migrants’ homeplaces? What is the place of migration within people’s home cultures and societies? How has migration to Ireland impacted on migrants’ families and communities? Are cultural practices from the home place maintained in Ireland? Have any particular cultural practices and productions emerged from the experience and effects of migration? These are just some questions explored as we seek to understand how the place of Ireland has changed within the context of global migration by looking at the home societies and to the everyday cultural practices of people who have come to Ireland from elsewhere. The main steps of the project are to:
  • Draw up an aide-memoire that both reflects back on the 1955 questionnaire and reflects the different methodologies in oral history and ethnographic research today;
  • Train project interviewers drawn from the Women Writers in the New Ireland network, who have themselves migrated to Ireland, in ethnographic fieldwork methodologies;
  • Document the collaborative process, including filming all workshops and meetings, in order to provide samples of best practice in innovative interdisciplinary work;
  • Conduct in-depth interviews with between thirty and forty women who have migrated to Ireland and make audio recordings of these interviews; and
  • Digitise the returned material and upload it to the IVRLA digital archive where it will be available for access by researchers and other interested parties.
Arrangement
The collection is presented in two separate parts, one for the Schools' Scheme and one for the Migration to Ireland project. In each part, there are three sections as follows: project background; information concerning the survey or collection methodology (briefing and training documents, consent forms and so on); and selected responses from participants. Please note that due the need to adhere to data protection and ethics guidelines, neither response section yet contains data as the data needs to be anonymised before being uploaded.
Note
Mrs. Maura Carroll and Mrs. Jenny Tierney (sisters; née Callaghan), looking at their material in the Schools’ Manuscripts Collection, 1985. Photo by Ríonach uí Ógain (NFC archive ref. M010.06.00275).
Subjects
Ireland--Emigration and immigration
Folklore--Ireland
Local history--Ireland

Record source
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) - M.S.21 December 2009.

Finding aid author
Dr Brian Jackson

Conditions Governing Access to Original Materials For further information on project material collected, please refer to the UCD John Hume Institute of Global Irish Studies. To request access to original items in this collection, please contact Dr Brian Jackson (brian.jackson@ucd.ie).

Conditions Governing Access to Digitised Materials Digital surrogates are made available by the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA), subject to the terms and conditions outlined on this website.

Copyright All digital and original material is copyright of the IVRLA and the UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies and may not be reproduced for any purpose without permission. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions section of this website for further details.