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Explore the Irish Folklife Collection online this autumn

Beady pocket, made by Bridget Mongan, Co Roscommon

If you are missing the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life during the current Level 3 COVID-19 closure, why not explore some of our online galleries and resources!

Try your hand at a harvest knot or learn more about Traveller culture and crafts. There's plenty to discover so enjoy culture and the National Folklife Collection this autumn with these top five online picks below.

1. Architectural drawings from the Irish Folklife Collection

Explore a rare and engaging record of traditional Irish homes in this online gallery of architectural drawings from the Irish Folklife Collection. This is a selection of beautifully drawn and illustrated ground plans, elevations, crayon drawings and watercolours surveyed in the 1930s and 1940s by Swedish scholars Åke Campbell and Albert Nilsson (later Eskerod), and students from the School of Architecture at University College Dublin. View the gallery now.

2. Irish Travel Posters online gallery

Enjoy a vibrant collection of travel posters which provides a fascinating insight into how Ireland was marketed as a tourism destination in the 20th century. These posters were first exhibited in 2007 for a temporary exhibition called Come Back to Erin: Irish Travel Posters of the 20th Century, curated by the late Dr Séamas Mac Philib. The posters are now available to view in this online gallery. 

3. Craft a harvest knot

Learn how to craft your own harvest knot with an online video tutorial from Education Officer Tom Doyle. These decorated pieces of straw were traditionally exchanged as tokens of love and courtship at the harvest festival. This is a fun activity for all of the family to enjoy. Watch the video.

4. Explore Kitchen Power online

The Museum has just made the exhibition Kitchen Power: Women’s Experiences of Rural Electrification available to view online. Opened by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson in July 2019, Kitchen Power explores the ways in which rural electrification changed the lives of women in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. Much of the exhibition content is now available to view on the Museum’s website, including a series of oral history interviews about this period of sweeping social change. The website also features images of the appliances on display in Kitchen Power and advertising graphics from the era. Visit Kitchen Power online.

5. Traveller culture, traditions and crafts

Explore a selection of material related to the culture, traditions and crafts of the Traveller community in Ireland. Learn about a number of special projects and initiatives by Museum staff, working in partnership with Traveller community representatives and others, aimed at making Traveller community history and heritage better known. This section also includes an online gallery of objects related to Traveller culture and archive film footage and photography of expert tinsmith Bernard Mongan, taken by the National Museum of Ireland in 1965. Visit Traveller culture, crafts and traditions.

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