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11-06-2019, 21:35   #1
A Tyrant Named Miltiades!
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Interesting oral history

I was recently alerted to some fairly in-depth oral testimony that a grandparent had given to an project called IRISH LIFE & LORE. It's available on YouTube but I'd rather not link it here, because it would be great if this thread didn't focus on one particular event or individual.

If the mods are agreeable, can people share any examples of oral history that they have come across or have gathered? From any period or era at all.
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11-06-2019, 22:09   #2
Jellybaby1
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Good idea! Like this?

http://www.southdublinlibraries.ie/l...s-and-memories
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12-06-2019, 17:23   #3
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Exactly. It was the same Maurice O'Keefe who interviewed my own relative, I reckon it would be very useful for us to have a single forum where his interviews, or others, could be shared subject to copyright.
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13-06-2019, 23:20   #4
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1. The Bureau of Military History is essentially a massive collection of interviews with eyewitnesses and people who fought in the period 1913-1921. The search function is singularly useful. You can put in a surname, street name, town or even a keyword like "court" to see who presided over the local republican court. It has mentions of various safe houses and arms storage points.

Here are 12 interviews that I came across on the BMH website, and again the incredible Irish Folklore Commission in UCD was central to making these records. This batch of voice recordings includes Maud Gonne, Seán Mac Eoin, Áine Ceannt, Oscar Traynor, Kathleen Clarke and others:

Voice recordings

The whole website is addictive: Bureau of Military History

I assume you're aware of the Dan Breen, Tom Barry and other interviews on YouTube? The Dan Breen one (from about 2:05 on) I found to be especially moving.


2. Cnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann/ The National Folklore Collection

Of course, if you want the mother of all oral histories, the Irish Folklore Commission in UCD, which was established by de Valera in 1935, is where you should head. It really is an exceptional repository of Irish oral history. Hugely underappreciated in Ireland today.

National Folklore Collection: Audio & Video Collection

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The Audio & Video Collection features some 12,000 hours of audio recordings, including a large collection of early audio formats such as wax cylinders, acetate disks, wire-tape and magnetic-tape recordings. The interviews recorded cover many aspects of Irish folklore, folk music, ethnology and oral history, and were collected, for the most part, by professional fieldworkers. The recordings are in English and in Irish, with other languages, such as Breton, Manx and Scottish Gaelic, also represented.

This Collection continues to grow through active field recording and donations of audio and video recordings by members of the public.
The famous Doegen Records Web Project: Irish Dialect Sound Recordings 1928-31 is part of it. That website, too, is superb. You click on the county and then have a list of speakers and can listen to them while reading the transcript below it. Part of Doegen was published in recent years under the title Ulster Gaelic Voices by Róise Ní Bhaoill, and it has two cds of the oral interviews. In Munster, the famous seanchaí Bab Feiritéar (1916-2005) in Dún Chaoin was similarly recorded, with the completed recording part of at least one published book, Coiglimis an Tine.

Lastly, the GAA has been doing a massive oral history collection for the past ten years or so. Click on the county, for instance, the player and then listen to them: GAA: Oral History project
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14-06-2019, 10:00   #5
pedroeibar1
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Agreed that they are worthwhile and interesting, but from a historical perspective their veracity is highly suspect, in particular the Folklore Collection.
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14-06-2019, 10:35   #6
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Agreed that they are worthwhile and interesting, but from a historical perspective their veracity is highly suspect, in particular the Folklore Collection.
What's your source for this?
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14-06-2019, 13:08   #7
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My own research of the Duchas files (many of which I have transcribed ) covering the locality I live in and write about. Anyone who has worked on them realises their worth but the info contained has to be taken cum grano salis. Landlords with cloven feet, tails, etc. or evictions by a named landlord when that landlord was long dead & estate sold. Schoolkids with a homework project, asking granddad for a tale and they get one! I repeat - they are worthwhile and interesting, but the 'serious stuff' needs careful checking.
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14-06-2019, 19:00   #8
A Tyrant Named Miltiades!
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Originally Posted by pedroeibar1 View Post
My own research of the Duchas files (many of which I have transcribed ) covering the locality I live in and write about. Anyone who has worked on them realises their worth but the info contained has to be taken cum grano salis. Landlords with cloven feet, tails, etc. or evictions by a named landlord when that landlord was long dead & estate sold. Schoolkids with a homework project, asking granddad for a tale and they get one! I repeat - they are worthwhile and interesting, but the 'serious stuff' needs careful checking.
That sounds very reasonable.

Some of the things my Grandma said in her interview were outright lies! A few were forgetfulness, but others were simply intended to compliment, or to apply the boot to old grudges.
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17-06-2019, 05:07   #9
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Cork Folklore Project


http://corkfolklore.org/memory-map/
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