Boston College Libraries

By Sweeney, Elizabeth | Notes, June 2018 | Go to article overview

Boston College Libraries


Sweeney, Elizabeth, Notes


The Boston College Libraries have been awarded a $30,775 grant to digitally reformat a selection of unique audio collections in the John J. Burns Library's Irish Music Archives. The grant is one of sixteen awarded nationally through the second round of the Recordings at Risk program, administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Entitled Sounds of Mid-20th Century Irish America: Preserving Historic Music Field Recordings for Research Access, the project focuses on two internationally known collections supporting the study of Irish traditional music. This work will involve experts from across the Boston College Libraries, including digital library and preservation specialists and archivists, exemplifying core library values to preserve and make accessible heritage and research collections for the long term.

The two archival collections, the James W. Smith Irish Music Recordings and the Joseph A. Lamont Irish Music Recordings, include openreel tapes of unpublished music. The 1950s-60s music performances feature some of Boston and New York's most prominent Irish musicians at the time, and the informal nature and setting of the recordings-- noncommercial "jam sessions" in public and private spaces--capture uniquely the time and spirit of this evolving musical genre. …

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