The Cork Folklore Project
The Cork Folklore Project was initiated by the Department of Folklore and Ethnology, UCC, in 1996 as a community-based centre for the collection and archiving of oral testimony. It was developed with community partners with a view to cultivating a sustainable model of cultural research in and of the locality. CFP investigates and documents the everyday of Cork in the past and present, through the work of largely non-academic researchers, generating an audio archive for the use of all. Its mode of enquiry is a model of slow engagement with the richness of vernacular life, on the multiple levels of qualitative enquiry, documentation, reciprocity and social inclusion.
Our audio archives of over 700 interviews contain memory, talk and performance that abounds with accounts of work and play, locality and migration, and tradition and change. It provides a wealth of rich material for enjoyment and reflection, for use in thinking about place, cultural resilience and social sustainability, as well as for communities of interest, individuals and creative practice. All of this is archived, safeguarded, curated and disseminated, and made accessible to the community at large, researchers, advocates and practitioners of all shapes and sizes through our publications, radio programmes, listening events, online catalogue https://corkfolklore.org/archivecatalolgue/welcome and online story map the Cork Memory Map www.corkmemorymap.org
Our most recent activities and collaborations have been with the Health Services Executive on oral histories of healthcare contexts, Oral History for Health, the rapid-response Chronicles of COVID-19 collection and the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Catching Stories of Infectious Diseases in Ireland project.
The Cork Folklore Project ‘It's valid, it's got amazing, dedicated people pulling the culture pumps, it's cerebral, uplifting and it's the anecdotal voice of Cork. It can be subversive.’ Cork Folklore Project interviewee and supporter, ‘Irish Jack’ Lyons.
We listen – we archive – we collaborate – we mentor – we provide access – we disseminate everyday experience – urban life – working life – play – migration – vernacular speech – social history – gender experiences – health