The National Folklore Collection, located in UCD, contains 740,000 pages of folklore and local tradition compiled by pupils from 5,000 primary schools in the Irish Free State between 1937 and 1939.
Known as “The Schools Collection”, the material includes oral history, topographical information, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, games and pastimes, trades and crafts recorded by the pupils from their parents, grandparents, and neighbours.
A significant portion of The Schools Collection has been digitised over the past number of years and is now available to view and read on the Duchas.ie website. This material should be of great interest to pupils and teachers as it includes all original pupils’ work, acting as primary sources from a historical perspective.
The material can be searched by county, by place or by name of pupil. This means that pupils could possibly find work completed by their grandparents or great grandparents while they were at school in the 1930s.
A search by topic of the material is currently under construction and will be available soon. However, the site does already have some nice downloadable material for teachers about traditions associated with St. Brigid’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, May Day, St. John’s Eve and Hallowe’en HERE
This website should be visited by pupils and teachers when doing some work on local history and it would also be a great site to make parents aware of. Visit the site on Dúchas.ie