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Dublin: 03.09.2014 05.49AM
Archive of spoken Irish from 1920s and 1930s now online
A record of the sounds of Irish as it was spoken throughout Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s is now online, thanks to a project between The Royal Irish Academy and academics from NUI Maynooth.
The bilingual Doegen Records Web Project website contains audio recordings made by Dr Wilhelm Doegen.
Doegen came to Ireland 85 years ago at the request of the Ministry of Education, to create a permanent record of the spoken Irish language in all districts in which it was still spoken.
Between 1928 to 1931, 136 speakers from 17 counties recorded 400 stories, songs, prayers, charms and parables.
Then the original wax matrices were transferred to Berlin and reformatted onto shellac discs.
Linguists have known about the shellac discs, according to NUI Maynooth, but The Royal Irish Academy Library wanted to make them freely available to everyone via a digital archive on the internet.
In 2008, armed with funding under the Higher Education Authority’s PRTLI4, the academy library began to transfer the recordings to the web, along with speaker details, annotated transcripts of content, translations of the transcripts and other data.