Providing Open Access to Irish Music: The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music at Boston College

In this presentation, we provide an overview of the contents and development of The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, a recently-launched open access collection of over 330 tunes and songs. The audio, sheet music, stories, and essays can be viewed and/or listened to on mobile devices, tablets, and computers. Through Omeka and SoundCloud, ten audio playlists featuring work by over 100 well-known performers can be streamed or downloaded worldwide under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC 4.0). Compiled by ten-time All-Ireland fiddle champion Séamus Connolly, a National Heritage Fellow and retired Sullivan Family Artist in Residence in Irish Music at Boston College, the digital collection is a result of a three-year collaboration between Connolly and the Boston College Libraries.

The collection complements the Séamus Connolly Papers, one of several research collections available at the Irish Music Archives of the John J. Burns Library. Developing and designing this collection depended on a variety of skillsets and activities, including metadata creation, open access and rights management, digital curation, audio file management, web design, editorial review, and preservation. The work involved Library units such as the Irish Music Archives, Digital Initiatives and Services, Scholarly Communication, Metadata Creation and Management, and Library Systems and Applications, along with contributions by outside collaborators. Examples of workflows, consideration of best practices and standards, and decisions based on Omeka functionality will be presented. In addition, we will discuss and share examples from exploratory work, in which we will generate linked open data and render visualizations based on the relationships identified in this collection.

  Anna Kijas and Elizabeth Sweeney, Boston College Libraries

  1:30pm, 25 minutes |  Galleria South

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