Skip to main content
Presentation
One Evening As I Strayed: Women Collectors of Irish Traditional Music, A Journey Through Space, Time and Sources. Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, 28 February 2014
Music Library Association, Annual Conference (2014)
  • Margaret D. Ericson, Colby College
Abstract
My focus is on the importance of using a wide variety of resources -- interdisciplinary databases, full text journal resources, archives and specialized music collections -- to piece together a picture of the role of women the early years of folk music scholarship, and in the preservation and documentation of Irish traditional music. Inspired by early women folk song collectors in Maine, and Maine singers of old who who sang ballads of Irish origin, the author questioned why there was so little information about women collectors of traditional music in Ireland and the repertoire they discovered. Irish women faced unusual challenges in the early 20th century, not the least of which included their circumscribed social status amidst the volatile politics of Irish nationhood. Most of the significant women collectors of Irish music were “outsiders” – women from the U.S. and Britain – where the suffragist movement afforded a greater sense of mobility. How did this impact who and what was collected, and the availability of this material to scholars in the country of origin? With the Celtic Tiger, equal educational opportunities for women, and ubiquitous use of technology, today’s women in traditional music have much more control over their own art and have a much greater role in actively collecting and preserving their own music, rather than awaiting acknowledgement of outside (and mostly male) “collectors” to do this. Examples of a range of artists and archival materials will be demonstrated.
Publication Date
February 28, 2014
Citation Information
Margaret D. Ericson. "One Evening As I Strayed: Women Collectors of Irish Traditional Music, A Journey Through Space, Time and Sources. Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, 28 February 2014" Music Library Association, Annual Conference (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/margaret_ericson/9/