Kells Schools Folklore Collection 1937/38
unique collection is part of the School Folklore Scheme of
1937/38 which the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration
with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers'
Organisation, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which
schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore
and local history.
Over a period of eighteen months some 100,000 children in 5,000 primary schools in the twenty-six counties of the
Here in Kells, three schools participated, namely, Mercy
Convent, Boys Primary and
Over 60 children took part and collected a wide range of folklore and beliefs that were imbedded in the culture of the people, never written down before and which probably because of a slow cultural change would have been lost if not for their efforts. This fascinating collection, includes stories of the night of the big wind, legends of Kells, cures of all kinds, how to make rush lights, prophecies of St. Colmcille, old proverbs, Castles, wells, mansions, mass paths, monuments of all descriptions in Kells, the priests shirt, the exploits of the Napper Tandy, the Mighty Ambrose Quinn, Cromwell, Headforts and the Big houses, Robbers Castle and Bishop Hugh de Lacy, Famine and the Workhouse, etc. there is so much more that the second Book of Kells will probably have to be written.
Now, 75 years later we are delighted to put on display this
unique collection, and showcase their work for all to see during
National Heritage Week in the Kells library,
When collected, some of the stories were written by the children themselves, some were written for them, and others copied into manuscripts. In some cases, their has been some deterioration in ink quality, also when copied onto microfiche in 1976 further quality loss is evident. The microfiche operators well manicured finger is quiet evident in some pages, also with scanned images the quality is lower to minimise file size, but all in all the greater part is readable.
Mercy Convent V1
Mercy Convent V2
Mercy Convent V3
Mercy Convent V4
Kells Parochial NS
Kells Boys Primary V1
Kells Boys Primary V11
HERE for Launch night Photos