Old images of people and places in County Wexford appear on the re-designed Dúchas website and a new digital version of the National Folklore Photographic Collection, which were launched at an event in the National Library of Ireland.

The Photographic Collection containing about 10,000 photographs, many of them relating to County Wexford, is the latest resource to be added to the site after being digitised and catalogued.

Many of the photographs date from the early 20th century and include images taken by professional photographers and by collectors working with the National Folklore Commission. They are classified under 14 different topics including festivals, holy wells, settlements, community, folklore collection and games and pastimes.

In the County Wexford section, there are photographs of old thatched houses in Our Lady’s Island, Carnesore Point, Churchtown, Rosslare, Kilmore Quay and Ballybro; funeral crosses in a memorial to the dead in Enniscorthy; harvesting in Wexford; a large number from Carley’s Bridge Pottery in Enniscorthy; a holy well in Tomhaggard and Carcur Mummers at Christmas 1947.

The website contains an extensive collection of written folklore transcripts and personal testimonies from the county on customs, places, local happenings, superstitions, historical incidents including 1798, famous characters, sporting triumphs, local cures and the ‘banshee’ or’the bow’.

‘This is an incredible new resource for Wexford providing a fascinating insight into our past,’ said Fine Gael’s Minister Michael D’Arcy.

‘Fine Gael places enormous importance on our national history and heritage and on preservation of all our folklore and historic photographs. Putting all these resources online so everyone has access to them will allow people here in Wexford to witness our past from their laptops and mobile devices’, he said.

Material from schools in the 26 counties which took part in the Schools Scheme from 1937 to 1939 is also available on the website dúchas.ie which is popular with researchers and people who have an interest in history and folklore and also with the Irish diaspora around the world.

The site can be searched by place, by person and by topic and has material from almost every parish in Ireland.

The Dúchas project is the result of a partnership beginning in 2012 between the National Folklore Collection in UCD, UCD Digital Library and Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, the Irish-language teaching and research unit in DCU.

The aim is to digitise the National Folklore Collection and make it available online. The project is co-funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with support from the National Lottery and UCD.

Source: Independent