Phases of the project

The Dúchas project commenced in 2012, when a digital archive and a custom-made data management and editorial interface were created for the purpose of indexing the Schools’ Collection material. The public interface was developed and designed to make the digitized and indexed material available to the public.

80% (c. 64,000 items) of the material from four counties (Dublin, Donegal, Waterford and Mayo) in the Schools’ Collection was published on www.dú in December 2013. During the period January 2014–December 2016 all of the remaining bound volumes from the Schools’ Collection were digitized and indexed as well as a selection of copybooks relating to schools that do not have material included in those volumes. The digital archive and custom data management and editorial interface were also further developed, as was the public interface. A number of additional resources (a database of surnames, Meitheal Dú and new specialized searches, for example) were developed. The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) was involved in an advisory role with regard to standards and inter-operability in digital archiving.

The aim of the current project phase (2017-19) is to continue the development, digitisation and editorial work, focusing on the Photographic Collection and the Main Manuscript Collection. A newly designed website and digitized version of the National Folklore Collection’s Photographic Collection was launched in September 2017.


Specialist contractors are employed to digitize the material in accordance with international best practice.


The National Folklore Collection host the archive copy of the digitized collection, in consultation with the UCD Digital Library. Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge host the dissemination copy of the digitized archive.

Indexing of the digitized material

The indexing of the folklore material in the digital archive is being undertaken by the National Folklore Collection, UCD, and Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, DCU. This work is being checked on an ongoing basis (and you can let us know if you find any errors:


Dinny McGinley, Minister of State for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, launched the project on 17 December 2013.

From left: Professor Peter Clinch (UCD), Minister of State Dinny McGinley TD, Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin (CBÉ), Professor Ciarán Mac Murchaidh (FSG)

All volumes of the Schools’ Collection were launched in September 2016 by Seán Kyne, Minister of State for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

From left: Dr Brian Ó Raghallaigh (FSG), Dr Gearóid Ó Cleircín (FSG), Minister of State Seán Kyne TD, Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (CBÉ)

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D., launched the redesigned dú website and a digitized version of the Photographic Collection at an event in the National Library of Ireland on Tuesday 26 September.

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D.