Michael McNamara for entrusting a lifetime of traditional music recordings to ITMA and for permission to freely share his story with the traditional music community.
Michael and Brian McNamara for their generosity, patience and support in curating the Furls of Music 
The McNamara Family

ITMA would like to also like to thank the following individuals and organisations for their generous help in providing recordings, images, information, tune and song identification and permission to use various media.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Martin Connolly, Beatrice Cunningham, Gregory Daly, Danny Diamond, Philip Duffy, Val Fitzpatrick, Seán Gilrane, Johnny Gray, Maura Connolly Hynan, Tony Kearns, Frank Kelly, John Lee, Ben Lennon, Charlie Lennon, Cathal McConnell, Meitheal Archive, Malachy Moran, Mick Mulvey, Tommy Mulvihill, Siobhán Ní Chonaráin, Aoife Nic Cormaic, Mick O'Connor, Siobhán Peoples, Fr. John Quinn, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), Marie Reilly, Denis Ryan, Jesse Smith and Terry Williams.

Curation, design, content & technical management of the Furls of Music Digital Exhibition by ITMA Staff

With thanks to Aoife Kelly, graphic design, Furls of Music

DAP Project

With the widespread transition to digital formats, large portions of ITMA's sound and video collections have become endangered and at high risk of obsolescence and degradation. For carriers such as Digital Audio Tapes and Digital Video Tapes we lack the machines to play them on site, and the familiar CD may soon follow suit. As an organisation with the long-term preservation of Ireland’s traditional sound heritage at the core of its mission, ITMA recognises the need to adapt and re-strategise in order to build a preservation plan for the digital age.

The 2019 Digital Audio/visual Preservation (DAP) Project was made possible with generous funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Department’s ‘national digitisation investment programme’. This project involved the digitisation of over 2,500 sound and video carriers, resulting in the generation of more than 24,000 audio and video files. The digitisation of the Michael McNamara Sound Collection of reel-to-reel tapes and sound cassettes was made possible through this funding grant. These 'new' master digital files have been ingested into a newly established digital preservation system, from where they can be actively managed, and access copies made available through a new online platform. The online platform is now currently in development.

Producing high-quality digital surrogates or user copies for ITMA’s vibrant multimedia collections, at the scale made possible by the DAP Project, means that it is possible to do much more with collections and further engage with audiences and potential archive users. Online exhibitions like the Furls of Music and the recently launched Dusty Bluebells are a testimony to this digital strategy.

In today’s world the preservation of traditional music is not possible without ongoing digital preservation and investment in a digital preservation strategy. The DAP Project is the first phase of ITMA’s new strategy for preservation and access, and we feel confident that ITMA users will see the fruits of our investment for many years to come.

For more information on the DAP Project please see DAP blogs:

Preserving Ireland’s Traditional Sound Heritage

An update on DAP, ITMA’s latest digital preservation project

Standards and Digitisation Policy

The primary goal of digitisation in ITMA is to preserve materials and, where possible, make them accessible to the public. Sound recordings, texts, and still and moving images are all candidates for digitisation, with more vulnerable media given priority. Digitisation is carried out in-house and using approved service providers.

At ITMA, we adhere to international standards and best practice set by the international archiving community in creating and describing digital objects. 

Of special note: the sound recordings in the Michael McNamara Sound Collection are being managed as part of a new digital preservation and access strategy developed with funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. For more information on the DAP Project please read our blogs 'Preserving Ireland’s Traditional Sound Heritage' 'An update on DAP, ITMA’s latest digital preservation project.'

Listed below are the current preferred digital preservation and access file format standards for multimedia materials in ITMA


Preservation: BWF WAV -- Sample Rate: 96kHz -- Bit Depth: 24 bit

User Access: MP3

Texts and Manuscripts

Preservation: TIFF and/or PDF/A 300 DPI

User Access: JPEG 300 DPI and/or PDF/A


Preservation: TIFF 300 DPI

User Access: JPEG 300 DPI 

Copyright and Take Down Policy