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Unlocking the Celtic Collector

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2 Aug 2011
Event14th International Congress of Celtic Studies - Maynooth, Ireland
Duration: 2 Aug 20116 Aug 2011


Conference14th International Congress of Celtic Studies


In this paper I shall give an overview and demonstration of the online resource based on the paper archive of the folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912), funded by the AHRC as part of the Carmichael Watson Project at Edinburgh University Library‟s Centre for Research Collections. Thirty field and transcription notebooks, some of which were drawn upon by Carmichael in his magnum opus Carmina Gadelica (1900), have been identified, investigated, transcribed, and catalogued. These notebooks, in total nearly half a million words, over three thousand items recorded from over 400 named informants, were compiled during half a century‟s collecting throughout the western Highlands, especially in the Outer Hebrides where Carmichael spent nearly twenty years working for the excise between 1864 and 1882.

The project‟s primary aim is to make these previously under-used but internationally important folkloric and ethnographic materials available to a wider audience, both in academia and among the general public. The paper will explore the internationally recognised standards employed by the project for transcribing (TEI – Text Encoding Initiative) and cataloguing (EAD – Encoded Archival Description), as well as for creating biographical records for significant individuals (EAC – Encoded Archival Context). The handling of bilingual material and the indexing of item level descriptions for all notebook entries, including the identification of individuals and geo-referencing of places to create a more flexible research tool, will also be discussed.

    Research areas

  • archives, cataloguing, folklore, Gaelic, geo-referencing


14th International Congress of Celtic Studies


Maynooth, Ireland

Event: Conference

ID: 1575365