Sir John Byers Collection

Collection of Ulster Dialect items manually recorded by Sir John Byers, c 1890-1910, and examples of proverbs and sayings (dialectal and otherwise) and folklore. The material was collected by Byers, a medical doctor, out of personal interest in this subject area and was recorded from the dialect content of the speech of his patients and from items found in the local press, in particular the Ballymena Observer. The collection consists of Byers' original hardback notebooks and typescript transcriptions of same prepared by his daughter.


Collection undoubtedly captures dialect items that may otherwise have been lost at a time when dialectal speech was actively discouraged in the education system. It also reflects ways of life and Ulster traditions that no longer obtain.

Physical characteristics

7 archive boxes containing a series of hardback notebooks and typescript transcriptions.

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Added by Ulster Folk and Transport Museum | Last updated on: 09 February 2018