Collection CMA-240167 - The Caoimhín Mac Aoidh Collection

Identity area

Reference code



The Caoimhín Mac Aoidh Collection


  • 1930s-2015 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

By the mid 1980s Caoimhín Mac Aoidh had amassed a significant collection of the manuscripts of Pádraig O'Keeffe sourced mainly from his pupils and in a limited number, others who had come to possess some material. All collections were given freely to Caoimhín and every original manuscript returned to their owners once they had been photocopied.

Caoimhín understood the writing systems for fiddle, ten key melodeon and whistle and meticulously transcribed each tune into staff notation. In those cases where he couldn't reasonably photocopy the originals, he copied the originals using stencils and a draftsman's Rotring pen in order to ensure clarity of reproduction. It was always Caoimhín's hope to get the collection "published with the view to making them available to the public as a mark of respect to the great master that was Pádraig [O'Keeffe] as well as to honour the generosity of the manuscript owners" but due to the size of the collection he failed in this endeavour. In total 700 tunes were transcribed from manuscript sources and these transcriptions along with text and notes on the tunes were donated to ITMA in September 2015. The donation coincided with an event to mark the retirement of ITMA Director Emeritus Nicholas Carolan and was a "small but genuine tribute" by the donor "to offer the collections on this occasion."

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to ITMA by Caoimhín Mac Aoidh, 24 September 2015.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection includes: photocopies of original Pádraig O'Keeffe manuscripts; transcriptions made by Caoimhín Mac Aoidh of 700 Pádraig O'Keeffe tunes, along with contextual notes and texts on the tunes; and correspondence relating to MacAoidh's research into Pádraig O'Keeffe. The photocopied manuscript collections are as follows:

O'Connell Collection: 212 Tunes
O'Connor Collection (comprising five Manuscripts): 260 Tunes
Horan Manuscripts: 85 Tunes
Mickey Duggan Manuscripts: 14 Tunes
Jerry McCarthy Manuscripts: 15 Tunes.
Nicky McAuliffe Manuscripts: 38 Tunes
Miscellaneous Manuscripts: 74 Tunes
Appendix 1 is a summary sheet of the collections and their contents by rhythm.

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Conditions of access and use area

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Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • Irish

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

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Description control area

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Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: Caoimhín Mac Aoidh Collection. Box 1-2