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  • Publication
    Changing Ireland : cultural heritage and migration
    (UCD Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive, 2010) ; ; ; ;
    This paper reports on the Cultural Heritage and Migration project which was conducted as part of the UCD Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) series of demonstrator research projects. The project, undertaken from September to December 2009, has two separate strands: Schools’ Folklore Scheme 2009/10 and Migration to Ireland 2009/10. Both strands take as their starting point key surveys by the Irish Folklore Commission (in 1937-38 and 1955 respectively) and seek to gather comparative information in today’s very different Ireland, focusing on a society that is more urban, multicultural, and rapidly changing. The methodology and focus necessarily differ substantially from the earlier surveys, being influenced by debates and issues in the ethics of information collection as well as the need to reflect a more heterogeneous society. The project's online collection gives the background for both strands (including sample scanned material from the 1937-38 Schools’ Survey) and provides documentation in relation to the planning, design, and training phase. Due to time constraints, it was not possible to digitise the actual survey responses but this pilot project is being continued by the UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies and further research outputs, including digitised text for the schools’ strand and digitised audio for the migration strand, will be made available on their website. This paper gives an overview of the context for both strands, outlines the survey design phase, details the work done in collecting material, and discusses the complex ethical issues which arose in relation to the migration strand (where respondents were particularly vulnerable). The paper concludes by describing how the two surveys undertaken by this project will be made available online and discussing the possibilities for future research.