Thursday, November 29, 2012

Éamon de Buitléar to Present His Unique Multi-Media Archive Collection to NUI Galway

Èamon de Buitlèar
Renowned film-maker and environmentalist Éamon de Buitléar has officially presented his exceptional personal archive to NUI Galway. This multi-media archive collection spans some sixty years of creativity and reflects a broad range of Éamon de Buitléar’s professional and personal concerns.

The archive contains:

  • Éamon’s documentary film output over the course of his career;
  • Key materials relating to the history of broadcasting & film production in Ireland;
  • Original recordings and unique insights into the revival of Irish traditional music in the twentieth century with material relating to Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann and Ceoltóirí Laighean;
  • Visual and audio records of interest in terms of historical environmental studies;
  • Culturally significant material within the de Buitléar family papers including manuscripts and A Dictionary of Irish Bird Names, compiled by An Coirnéal Éamon de Buitléar, former aide-de-camp to Dubhghlas de hÍde, the first President of Ireland.

Launching the project, Éamon de Buitléar said: “The collection contains my life’s work. The environment, the Irish language and our native music have been cornerstones of my work and I am happy that the archive as a whole will find a home in NUI Galway. It is important that the collection will be available and accessible, particularly to young people and also to the Gaeltacht community in Conamara.”

President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne paid tribute to Éamon’s generous donation to the University: “This is a magnificent gesture by one of the pioneers of Irish broadcasting. Éamon’s constant concern for various aspects of our heritage – natural, cultural and musical – has enriched not only his personal archive but national life. We will use our institutional strengths in visual studies and the Irish language to fully exploit and conserve this rich resource.”

NUI Galway, will begin a major project to catalogue and to digitise this collection of national and international significance to facilitate access to scholars, researchers, students and the Gaeltacht community. Playing a key role in the Digital Repository of Ireland, the University is uniquely positioned to exploit the archive material and place it in a framework which will facilitate scholarly access and public engagement while working with partners such as RTÉ Archives to develop common protocols and best practice in the conservation of and public access to the national audio-visual heritage.

Work on this multi-media project will be carried out by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and will process materials on film, video, audio tape and paper. A unique aspect of the collection is the contextualisation which has been provided by Éamon de Buitléar himself in the form of 20 hours of audio recordings describing the various facets of his work to project researcher, Micheál Holmes.

The Éamon de Buitléar Archive will complement existing and newly acquired collections in the James Hardiman Library such as the project to digitise the Abbey Theatre archive and the acquisition of the papers of Brendan Duddy, Thomas Kilroy and John McGahern. Following the launch on Wednesday, 28 November, an exhibition will be staged in the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway which will highlight the diversity of Éamon de Buitléar’s work and display key items from the collection.

Èamon filming on location with Amuigh Faoin Spèir
The collection will be accessible in the new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building which will open at the heart of the NUI Galway campus in 2013 and at the University’s Gaeltacht centres in Carna and at An Cheathrú Rua where BA and MA programmes in Communications are taught through the medium of Irish.

The Project Digitisation will take place in the James Hardiman Library and in the University’s centre in Carna where Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge have already managed multi-media research projects such as, Cartlann Raidió na Gaeltachta, The Joe Burke Archive and, most recently, iTunes U COGG, a project to develop digital classroom resources for primary schools.

Further information and access to archive material here

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