RTÉ Publishes Archive Recordings of Irish Music from the 1930s to the 70s

RTÉ Publishes Archive Recordings of Irish Music from the 1930s to the 70s

Digitised acetate discs include recordings of Séamus Ennis, Rhoda Coghill, Breandán Breathnach, Cití Ní Ghallachóir, John F. Larchet, Mickey Doherty, Bill Meek and more.

RTÉ has today (23 May) published thousands of radio recordings from the 1930s to 1970s including many performances by, and interviews with, well-known musicians.

The recordings are taken from acetate discs, the earliest sound recording format held by RTÉ, which were used in the production, recording and broadcast of programmes for Radio Éireann. Over the last three years, RTÉ Archives has been creating digital files from thousands of fragile acetate discs.

The online archive now contains a treasure trove of musical items. Among the recordings are:

The collection also includes recordings of major cultural and political figures such as Maud Gonne and Douglas Hyde.

The specialist digitisation and cataloguing work was supported by Comisiúin na Meán and carried out by RTÉ’s archive specialists in partnership with the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

Commenting on the publishing of the collection, Bríd Dooley, Head of RTÉ Archives, said:

We are delighted to open up this hugely evocative collection from the earliest decades of broadcast recording technology. It will take audiences back to the mores, sounds and voices from 1937 onwards as the new Irish State was emerging, many decades before television itself came along. It provides a unique insight our audiences can now enjoy and will be a source of important discovery for researchers, programme makers, historians and educators alike.  

To view the entire collection, visit https://www.rte.ie/archives/collections/acetate-disc-collection/

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Published on 23 May 2023

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