Schools’ Folklore Scheme (1937-38)
The schools collection, comprising more than a million pages, is divided into the official manuscript books into which a selection of the material from each school was written (bound in 1,126 volumes), and some 40,000 copybooks written by the children containing a great deal of material not found in the bound volumes of the collection. (Briody, 2008)
One of my MA research questions is:
1. How can I tell Irish folk stories through visuals of native wildlife?
So far I have gathered some initial ideas for animation narratives, mostly from Niall Mac Coitir’s ‘Ireland’s Wild Plants’ and from participating in two guided wildlife walks focusing on folkloric traditions.
I decided to visit the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin to see what other narrative inspiration I could find. The librarian I spoke to was very helpful and informative when I described what I was hoping to find. She directed me towards the Schools Folklore Scheme, an initiative from 1937 which involved children from every national school in the country visiting elder members of their community and recording folklore stories from the locality. Unlike the majority of the folklore collection most of these stories were recorded in the English language, making them easily accessible to non-Irish speakers like myself. They are also accessible from an online database which made it easier for me to explore the collection in greater depth.
The working title for my MA project is ‘The Daisy Chain Connection’. I am aware of the many associations between daisies and childhood and was thrilled to discover several stories in the collection which bridged these two themes together.
I plan on using these narratives that I have gathered from the collection so far as inspiration for some narrative ideas generation.
Briody, M. (2008) Keepers of the folklore. The Irish Times. [Online]
9th February 2008. Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/keepers-of-the-folklore-1.892628 [Accessed: 1st April 2017]
Dúchas.ie (2017) Schools’ Folklore Scheme (1937-38) [Online Video] 6th January 2017. Available at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7AMRXmvdXA [Accessed: 1st April 2017]
UCD Digital Library (2014) A Daisy Chain [Online] Available at https://digital.ucd.ie/view/duchas:4931301. [Accessed: 1st April 2017]