A repository of knowledge – the Schools’ Manuscript Collection, offering a unique insight into medicinal practices in post independent Ireland

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Date / time
Date(s) - 21 May
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Maplethorpe Lecture Theatre, UCL School of Pharmacy


Lecture to the British Society for the History of Pharmacy. This lecture will be given by Fiona Shannon (Trinity College, Dublin).

Abstract : The National Folklore Collection in University College Dublin holds one of the largest collections of ethnographic material in the world and it has recently been inscribed into UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The Schools’ Manuscript Collection is one body of information stored within this archive that contains over 700,000 pages of regional Irish traditional and folkloric knowledge, collected by school children in the 1930s. Our research at the School of Pharmacy at TCD has involved analysing ethnomedicinal information documented in this collection, offering a unique insight into the medicinal beliefs and practices of the people at that time. In addition, we have contacted some of the original participants to the scheme and documented their oral recollections, and have linked them back to their specific schools’ contributions in the archives. This has provided a context and a novel perspective on the collection itself, and the traditional knowledge housed therein.