We are Jane and Maurice O’Keeffe, based in Tralee, Co Kerry. In 1982, we became the third generation of O’Keeffes to open an antiques business, and for two decades we loved trading in old furniture, ceramics and art. During this time, we discovered a particular passion for uncovering Irish history that would otherwise remain untold. The unique Irish voice, in all its depth, breadth and intonation is a very precious resource. In our rapidly changing world of instant communication, the local accent as well as personal memories, stories and ideas become threatened, and once lost, cannot be reinstated. We set up Irish Life and Lore in 1990 and today, over 3,000 voices are archived, each of them recounting personal memories, historical events and the essence of old Ireland through Irish Life and Lore’s audio recordings , books and Oral History Collections.
Irish Life and Lore’s mission is to enrich public understanding of our shared past through oral history; to record unique life and social histories, document the central historical events and memories of our times, to inform education, create awareness and bolster research across the disciplines.
Our vision is to scaffold bridges to the past for present and future generations. Through the collecting and archiving of Irish voices which offer insight into a historic moment, event, or time period, we seek to represent living history, and ultimately to create a historic record.
We are not funded by any State body. We actively seeking funding to continue our work of preserving Ireland’s unique oral history and archiving it for future generations before it disappears. If you are interested in commissioning our services or sponsoring an Oral History Collection, find out more here.