University of Galway is digitizing the archive of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland's national theatre, as a result of a partnership between the two organisations to preserve and widen access to a major cultural heritage collection. This is the largest ever theatre archive digitization project worldwide and the digital archive will contain over a million pages when completed.
The archive features papers relating to all four of Ireland's Nobel Prize Winners for Literature: W.B. Yeats, G.B. Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. It also features original material pertaining to such major writers as James Joyce, Eugene O'Neill and Sam Shepard, while also preserving material about the current generation of Irish playwrights, such as Brian Friel, Thomas Kilroy and Marina Carr.
The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive @ University of Galway preserves this legacy for future generations, and allows for much greater access than before. The initial available content includes programmes, scripts, scrap books, log books, prompt scripts, set designs, administrative and production files, with photographs, audio, video, posters and handbills to follow. A wide range of search, browse and filter options enables access to documents on specific topics.
This multi-media archive collection spans some sixty years of creativity and reflects a broad range of the late Éamon de Buitléar's professional and personal concerns.
The archive contains:
- Éamon's documentary film output over the course of his career;
- Key materials relating to the history of broadcasting & film production in Ireland;
- Original recordings and unique insights into the revival of Irish traditional music in the twentieth century with material relating to SeBuitláarn BuitlÓar Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann and CeoltBuitlóarirBuitlíar Laighean;
- Visual and audio records of interest in terms of historical environmental studies;
- Culturally significant material within the de Buitléar family papers including manuscripts and A Dictionary of Irish Bird Names, compiled by An Coirnéal Éamon de Buitléar, former aide-de-camp to Dubhghlas de hÍde, the first President of Ireland.
Galway University Foundation has been pleased to assist with the sourcing and procurement of other significant archives including those of John McGahern, Thomas Kilroy, Druid Theatre, John Huston and many others.
Galway University Foundation is proud of its support for a ten year strategic partnership between University of Galway and the Druid Theatre Company established in 2010. The partnership is crucial in maintaining and developing the performance arts of the region into the future.
Since 2010, University of Galway has contributed to the development of some of Druid's theatre events while Druid, in turn, has developed a range of practice-led workshops and seminars including a series of Master classes for BA and MA students.
A Druid Director-in-Residence was appointed to co-ordinate the joint Master classes and workshops and offer classes and mentoring in various aspects of directing and stagecraft to University of Galway students. These contributions will enhance two successful University of Galway academic programmes: the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and BA Connect in Theatre and Performance.