Schools' Manuscript Collection (1937-38)
In 1937, the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, introduced an innovative scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history.
Over a period of eighteen months some 100,000 children in 5,000 primary schools in the twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State were encouraged to collect folklore material in their home districts.
The topics about which the children were instructed to research and write ranged from local history and monuments, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs to songs, customs and beliefs. They were also encouraged to write about topics like games and pastimes, traditional work practices and crafts, etc. The children collected this material mainly from their parents and grandparents and other older members of the local community or school district. Now known as the Schools' Manuscript Collection, the scheme resulted in more than half a million manuscript pages of valuable material.
This collection is now digitized on Dúchas.ie, a project to digitize the National Folklore Collection of Ireland. The objective of the project is to provide online access to a significant portion of the Schools’ Collection (1937-38) by the end of 2016. Material from Galway in the Schools’ Collection is now available at www.duchas.ie.
The stories written by some of the pupils from the four National Schools of Lackagh Parish can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page. One example is the story submitted by Máire C. Ní Seoighe, (Mary Kate Joyce, now Mary Kate McDonagh) from Monroe. Mary Kate spoke with Peter Creaven from Cahernahoon who would have been born c. 1888.
COLLECTOR: Máire C. Ní Seoighe
INFORMANT: Peadar Ó Crámháin
Lackagh Museum and Community Development Association 2021