Derry Forum

GAA Oral History Project Arrives in Derry!

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Biggest Sports History Project in the World comes to Derry
The history of the GAA in Derry is the focus of a major history project about to be carried out. The GAA Oral History Project is one of the biggest sporting history projects ever undertaken in the world and will leave a remarkable legacy for future generations.

Commissioned by the GAA and being carried out by a team based at Boston College-Ireland, the project is collecting a unique body of material that will ultimately be stored at the GAA Museum in Croke Park.

Already hundreds of interviews have been carried out across Ireland and overseas and an extraordinary collection of documents and photographs has been put together. Some of this material has already been used in the best-selling book, The GAA: A People's History which was written by the project's directors, Mike Cronin, Mark Duncan and Paul Rouse.

Now, the plan is to record the history of the GAA in Derry.

A researcher from the project, Arlene Crampsie, is coming to Derry this month. Arlene is looking for people to record interviews with, including GAA members and supporters and anyone who has ever had any contact or involvement with the GAA.

In addition to recording interviews, and in order to reach the largest number of people possible, the GAA Oral History Project is also providing questionnaires for people to fill out or people can simply send the project a letter or email about the place of the GAA in their lives.

We want people from every parish, from every club and from every school to contribute, either by doing an interview, filling out a questionnaire, writing a letter or donating material. The project also aims to collect the memories of the members of all the organisations under the umbrella of the GAA, including Ladies Football, Camogie, Handball, Rounders and Scόr.

The responses collected will allow current and future family members of participants to hear and see their ancestors, to view their handwriting, to learn about how they lived and the place of the GAA in their lives.

We are hoping to gather photographs, videos and recordings of the social life surrounding the GAA, whether they are of families having a picnic on the way to or from a match, of spectators at a match, of supporters on the train or bus to a match, of homecoming celebrations and commiserations, or of social events.

We are also hoping to collect posters, letters, songs, poems and prayers relating to the GAA. We would like material relating to social events organised around the GAA, records and minute books, correspondence and financial material from counties and clubs and anything which tells us the stories of the people behind the organisation.

As this project is developing a digital archive, you do not necessarily have to donate the material permanently. The project will take the items on loan for a short time, digitise them and then return them. Some of the material that has already been collected can be seen on the website link.

The project also wants local primary and secondary schools to get involved. Special curriculum-based packs have been designed and are available to download from the website.

Finally, the project is looking for people to volunteer to help carry out its work.

For further information on any aspect of the project, please contact Arlene Crampsie on +353 1 614 7456 or contact the office of the GAA Oral History Project Team on +353 1 662 5055. You can write to the project at GAA Oral History Project, 42 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, or send an email to [email protected]

GAA.OHP (Dublin) - Posts: 35 - 14/01/2011 14:21:26    846212


The final deadline for submissions to this project is 31 December 2011 and we encourage all individuals, clubs and schools who have not yet submitted their contributions to do so before this date to ensure that the story of the GAA in their area is represented in the archive. For further information on how to get involved or to see some of the material that has been collected, simply log on to link.

GAA.OHP (Dublin) - Posts: 35 - 17/11/2011 17:35:11    1070893