Culture Night 2018 at Heritage House Abbeyleix presents:

Stories from the Past 

Children from primary and secondary schools in Laois will read stories collected during the schools collection initiative in the 1930s and add new stories of their own to this collection.

There are 1,128 volumes, numbered and bound, in the Collection. A title page prefaces each school, giving the name of the school, the parish, the barony, the county and the teacher. A further collection of approximately 40,000 of the children’s original copybooks are stored at the NFC. You will find some of the stories here, you may even be lucky enough to find some written by a family member or neighbour.

The Folklore Collection was a scheme was initiated by the Irish Folklore Commission, under the direction of Séamus Ó Duilearga and Séan Ó Súilleabháin, Honorary Director and Registrar of the Commission respectively, and was heavily dependent on the cooperation of the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers’ Organization. It was originally to run from 1937 to 1938 but was extended to 1939 in specific cases. For the duration of the project, more than 50,000 schoolchildren from 5,000 schools in the 26 counties of the Irish Free State were enlisted to collect folklore in their home districts. This included oral history, topographical information, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, games and pastimes, trades and crafts. The children recorded this material from their parents, grandparents, and neighbours.


Come along to Heritage House Abbeyleix from 6pm on September 21st to hear stories about the Highway Man Captain Grant, the tale of the hidden treasure and stories of the old games that were played by children during this time.


2 thoughts on “Culture Night 2018”

  1. Is it possible to purchase a book of some of the stories that were written in 1938, etc., and possibly read the evening of September 21st?

    1. Hi MaryKathryn,
      the Folklore Collection was a project carried out by the Folklore Commission in 1938, the Duchas Project have done a fantastic job at digitising these stories, so all are available to view online here
      The stories that we read on the 21st are all available to view there too. As of yet, i am unsure as to whether there has been a book released of the collection. If I can be of any further help, please do get in touch.
      Kind regards,

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