ITMA celebrates 25 years with 750,000+ Content items now online

For its twenty-fifth anniversary year 2012–2013, the Archive has planned a rolling programme of publications, projects and events. The first of these sees 750,000+ Content items now available to search online.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive / Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann was founded 25 years ago, on 29 July 1987, at a meeting in the Arts Council in Dublin.

Since that time it has grown from a concept without holdings, staff or premises to become the largest collection in existence of the materials of Irish traditional music – sound recordings, books, sheet music, ballad sheets, serials, theses, videos, photographs, manuscripts, programmes, posters, flyers, born-digital material, interactive digital music files, etc. – all of which is freely available for open reference access by the general public. The Archive is operated by a permanent staff of 10 and a number of contract and voluntary staff, and its operations are overseen by a voluntary rotating Board of 12. The collection has been built up by an extensive programme of field-collection, copying and digitisation, and by purchase and donation. It is housed in a Georgian heritage building at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, which has been restored for the Archive by the Office of Public Works.

The Archive also now holds the largest collection of information on Irish traditional music, digitally classified, catalogued and indexed on computer databases, and this also is fully accessible in the Archive’s premises. For the past five years this information has also increasingly been made available world-wide on the Internet through the ITMA Online Catalogue, and a huge anniversary tranche of catalogue information has now been added to it.