Meitheal Dú Community Transcription

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Feedback from members of the Meitheal

'I thought the transcribing project was a lot more fun than I expected. Reading and working with primary materials really brought lecture topics and readings to life.'

'Working with dú felt good. It wasn’t busy work, and we got to contribute to an important cause.'

About the Meitheal

We are inviting users of the site to transcribe, on a voluntary basis, the stories that were collected as part of the Schools’ Collection. This increases community participation in the project and makes the material more accessible by enabling users to search the text of transcribed stories in their entirety as opposed to viewing the manuscripts as images only.

Crowdsourced transcription is a recognised approach that helps digital humanities projects to make valuable archive material more accessible to the public. As a result of the Meitheal’s efforts these texts are gradually becoming available to researchers and others across the globe in a fully searchable format. Crowdsourced transcription is a team effort and Meitheal members work together to open up this treasure trove of folklore. Participants can access each others’ work, and improve it if appropriate, while there are also opportunities to discuss aspects of the project on social media. The Irish Folklore Commission was reliant on the goodwill and generosity of the public while the Schools’ Collection and others were being compiled. Meitheal Dú continues that tradition.

You can log in or register here, and see the results here. We will keep members of the Meitheal informed of progress via the Gaois weekly newsletter, X/Twitter, Facebook and on the Gaois blog. We welcome suggestions on how the interface can be improved.

If you are a teacher or lecturer we would be delighted to help you use this facility in the classroom. Take a look at this blogpost to read how one school used the Meitheal in the classroom. If you are a researcher who is transcribing Schools’ Collection material for your own research, why not make your transcriptions available to the public through the Meitheal?

License and take-down Policy

The transcribed material is being provided subject to a CC-BY-NC 4.0 licence and participation in the Meitheal is on that understanding. If you come across any unsuitable material in the transcriptions, contact us ( and we will look into it without delay.


  • Enter the text exactly as it appears on the page. If the story continues onto the next page, that part of the text should be transcribed in the text box for the subsequent page.
  • Only write down the story itself; ignore secondary information. The metadata (title, collector, informant, relation, address) has already been indexed by the project team. EXCEPTION: When the metadata is the only content on the page '[-]' should be entered. See here for example.
  • Begin each new paragraph on a new line.
  • If there is more than one story on the page, type the text in the corresponding box. See here for example.
  • If there is a word or section you don’t understand, leave a question mark in square brackets '[?]'.
  • The text should not be corrected or standardised.
  • If a word is written over two lines, type it as one word, e.g. in this story 'Crucifix' and 'supposed' should be transcribed.
  • Click ‘save’ when you are finished transcribing each page.
  • If you are a new Meitheal member or if you are not logged in, your work will not be published until a member of the editorial team has reviewed it.
  • You can correct your own work or any other member’s work at any time.
  • If you still have a question, ask the Meitheal Dú Facebook group or send an email to

There are a couple of issues listed below that often cause problems for those unaccustomed to the gaelic script:

  • Be careful not to mix up ‘r’ and ‘s’.

‘Cuireann siad ar a gcosa é’

  • Be mindful of the lenition mark that can sometimes be unclear. Write 'ċ', 'ḋ', 'ḟ' as 'ch', 'dh', 'fh' etc.
  • 'ד' should be written as 'agus'. 'דl' should be written as 'srl'.

These guidelines will be expanded upon as we get feedback from the Meitheal. Below you will find the Irish-language alphabet, in both gaelic and roman script, along with some sample transcribed texts.

‘Tá bataí ag fás ar an talamh. Agus sé an t-ainm atá ortha na bataí buidhe. Agus tá léigheas piantaí cnámh ionta. Cuireann daoine síos cupa ar an teinidh. Agus cuireann siad uisge ann fosta, agus bíonn an t-uisge ag guil nuair a chuireann siad síos na bataí buidhe ann. Agus baineann siad guil asta. Agus cuireann siad ar a gcosa é nó cé bith áit a mbíonn an phian ortha.’

‘Bhí tailliúr ann fadó darb ainm Micilín Ruadh. Lá amháin agus é ‘in a shuidhe ar an mbord ag fuagháil tháinigh éan isteach agus céard a rinne an táilliúr acht an tsáthadh a chaitheamh air agus é a mharbhughadh.

‘Sin urchar maith’ ar seisean leis féin ‘déanfaidh mé saighdiúir maith ins an gcogad. D’imthigh leis agus chuaidh isteach i dteach. Chonnaic sé cuilleóga i bpota suibh. Shíl sé gur capall a bhí ann agus céard a rinne sé acht na cuilleóga go léir a mharbhú’.

There is more information on the gaelic script at these links:


If you are using the transcribed material for research purposes, we'd love to hear how it is assisting your work and what subjects are involved (