Irish traditional music followers worldwide can now access hundreds of music tracks from The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, a digital collection produced and published by the Boston College Libraries in collaboration with National Heritage Fellow, Séamus Connolly. This exciting compilation features audio recordings of some of the best-known performers of Irish traditional instrumental music and song, including many previously unreleased recordings. With audio freely available on the fully responsive website and via SoundCloud, the collection at connollymusiccollection.bc.edu also offers music transcriptions, stories, and essays.
Originally from Killaloe in County Clare, Ireland, master fiddle player Séamus Connolly directed Irish music, song, and dance programming at Boston College for twenty-five years, and served as the Sullivan Artist in Residence in Irish Music from 2004 until his retirement from Boston College’s Center for Irish Programs in 2015. A ten-time All Ireland fiddle champion, Connolly’s many awards include a 2013 National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA and a 2014 Boston College Faculty Arts award.
The digital collection offers a window into traditional music through Connolly’s long experience as a performer and teacher. Thanks to the generosity of over one hundred musicians, the collection’s ten playlists, containing over 330 tunes and songs, have been made freely accessible worldwide via The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music under a Creative Commons License. Séamus Connolly and the Boston College Libraries are grateful to all of the performers, composers, editors, writers, artists and other collaborators who generously contributed content and made this collection possible.
The product of a three-year collaboration between the Boston College Libraries and Connolly, the digital collection reflects the work of many departments across the Libraries, with Connolly’s own work on the project beginning fifteen years ago. The digital collection at connollymusiccollection.bc.edu complements the Séamus Connolly Papers, one of several archival research collections in the Irish Music Archives of the John J. Burns Library. For more information, contact Elizabeth Sweeney, Irish Music Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 552-3956.
( Published Chestnut Hill, MA, 12 October 2016; Photo by Lee Pellegrini)