What We Do
Since 1990 Maurice and Jane O’Keeffe of Tralee, Co. Kerry, have produced thousands of recordings for their Irish Life and Lore Series.
The O’Keeffes understand that the unique oral heritage of Ireland; the peoples’ stories, attitudes, behaviours and accents are diminishing in the face of modernity and the internet age and these rare elements should be preserved. Numerous aspects of Irish social and national history and the essence of old Ireland, which was in danger of being lost, is now documented through Irish Life and Lore’s audio recordings and books, and so the work continues.
Several illustrated books have been edited by Jane O’Keeffe, based on specific Irish Life and Lore oral history Collections.
Our Audio Collections
All audio recordings have been compiled into Collections according to their region or their theme. Each Collection is accompanied by an illustrated and indexed catalogue. Recordings and catalogues are digitised. Recordings are in MP3 format (128 and 160 kbps). You can now purchase individual recordings directly by download. They may also be purchased on USB key or on disk.
Feel free to search the recordings database for particular subjects and locations. Oral history collections have been compiled in the majority of the Irish counties. Collections have also been compiled on historical events in Irish history. The most recent project completed is the 1916 Rising Oral History Collection, launched in January 2016.
Funding provided to Irish Life and Lore by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and by other bodies such as Local Authorities, in order to compile oral history collections is utilised entirely for travel from Kerry each week and for overnight expenses, time spent on recording and later editing, the production and digitisation of the audio material, and the writing and printing of the accompanying illustrated booklet. In order to fund the continued work of Irish Life and Lore, the oral history collections are sold to college and public libraries for research and study. Irish Life and Lore is not affiliated to any public or private body in relation to this work.
The Value of Oral History
Mr Gabriel Doherty, Lecturer, School of History, at University College Cork, talks about the value of oral history and the place of Irish Life & Lore recordings in that record.