Letters from Capt. Francis O’Neill, 5448 Dreyfus Ave, Chicago to William Halpin, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare. The letters refer to a number of uilleann pipers both resident in the United States of America, as well as, Ireland. These include Bernard Delaney and Patsy Touhey (Touhey, Patsy, 1865-1923), ‘two first class pipers’, Ireland’s ‘double prize winner’ Bob Thompson, ‘McAuliffe’, ‘Stephenson’, Charlie Ferguson, ‘Bishop O’Connor of Limerick’, ‘Bishop Touhy of Limerick’, ‘Andrews’, ‘Mr O’Mealy of Belfast’ (O’Mealy, Richard Lewis, 1873-1947) and Eddie Joyce. There are also references to other musicians including the fiddler John McFadden, who O’Neill describes as, ‘our best traditional fiddler’. The letters refer to phonograph piping records which O’Neill and Halpin exchange throughout the course of these letters. There are also a number of references to the Professor of Irish at University College, Cork and author of a number of books on Irish music, ‘Rev. Dr. [Richard] Henebry’ (Henebry, Richard, 1863-1916). O’Neill says that he is in correspondence with Henebry and has sent him a number of phonograph records also.
The O'Connor manuscript collection was sourced from Mrs Catherine (Kitty) O’Connor (née Horan) of Knockhorrin, Scartaglin. She originally lived at Dirreen, Scartaglin as a young girl when the manuscripts were written. Mrs O'Connor lent the collection to Caoimhín Mac Aoidh in 1984 and once copied they were returned to her in full. They consist of five school jotters which Mac Aoidh labelled, in no particular order, A, B, C, D, and E .
Letters from various friends and relatives to Seán Reid who between these years lived at a number of addresses including: Ormeau Road, Belfast; Hibernian Hotel, Borrisokane, Co Tipperary; 70 Haddington Road, Dublin and Royal Oak Road, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. Letters from Seán Reid’s mother, Scarvagherin, Co Tyrone are personal in nature. Letters from Rev Leo Browne, Verdun, Montreal, refer to Reid as his ‘dear old sparring partner’ (6 Oct 1927), and Redmond [Nugent?], Erganagh, Castlederg, refer to training and boxing and talk about the ‘good old times’. Letters of a more musical nature with references to uilleann pipes, fiddles, and various Irish music publications including ‘O’Neill’s music for Piano & Violin’ and ‘Moore’s Melodies’ are exchanged with the following people: John Potts, 6 Watkins Blds., Off Ardee St, Dublin, who is glad to hear that Reid is ‘progressing with the pipes’; ‘John’, Spamount, Castlederg, [Co Tyrone]; ‘Brian’, 23 Salisbury Gardens, Belfast; D[enis] Dunphy, Spamount, Castlederg, Co. Tyrone; ‘M. McGlinchey’, R.U.C Barracks, York St, Belfast; ‘M. Foley’, Kuigh, Nenagh, Co Tipperary and ‘J. Leahy’, The Chalet, Ballinaclough, Nenagh. There are also two undated letters from Paddy Brennan and ‘R Freeman’, Dooleys Hotel, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. The letter writers say that they ‘miss [Reid] a lot here, no pipes, no violin, nothing but the Gramophone to remind us of you.’
Letters from various friends and relatives to Seán Reid who at this time is the ‘Assistant Road Surveyor’ in Ennis, Co. Clare. Letters are mostly addressed to John Reid, ‘Carmel’, Victoria Rd, Ennis, Co Clare. Letters are from, among others, ‘Jas. Leahy’, Mícheál de Búrca, E. J. McGrath, D[enis] Dunphy, ‘F? Dowling’, Tommie [Potts] (Potts, Tommie, 1912–1988), 6 Watkins Buildings, Ardee St, Dublin, John Potts, Mick Malone and Liam Ó Ceallaigh. Many letters contain references to musicians, feiseanna, céilí, music lessons, including a letter from ‘D Dunphy’ (6 May 1937) which encloses a programme for ‘Feis Thír-Eóghain 22nd-23rd May, 1937 in St Patrick’s Hall and Foresters’ Hall, Omagh.’ A letter from ‘Tommie [Potts]’ (22 July 1937) makes reference to a recent feis win by Reid ‘all of us were delighted to hear of your fiddling success’ and in a letter from John Potts (11 August 1937) he lists a number of his current uilleann pipe students including ‘Fr Jones’, ‘Bro Gildas’, ‘Mr Andrews’ and Mr Kearney’.
Copies of a set of manuscripts originally written by Pádraig O’Keeffe for his pupil Jerry McCarthy. Jerry played frequently with O'Keeffe before emigrating to New York where he spent some time working with Denis Murphy in the New York Zoo along with Rory O'Connor a whistle player from Doolin.
Copy of a handwritten music and song manuscript compiled by Andrew Mac Intyre in Co. Donegal in the 1920s and 1940s from local musicians including a "Mr Kelly in Killybegs, Stationmaster, Lifford", a "B. Quinn, Castlefin" and a "Dilla Mac Intyre" who was Andrew's daughter. Also included is a handwritten letter from Eamon Mac Intyre with biographical information about his paternal grandfather Andrew Mac Intyre.
The Horan Collection was sourced from Mrs. Katie Horan (nee O'Brien). It can be dated at least from 5 June 1942 to 22 March 1949. As with the O'Connor Collection it contains the information on how to read the tablature and ornament the tunes in terms of rolls and Pádraig's notion of "trills".
Fair copy transcriptions made of Padraig O’Keeffe’s music tablature by Caoimhín Mac Aoidh. The McAuliffe Collection was sourced from Nicky McAuliffe by Máire O'Keeffe who passed them on to Mac Aoidh. These manuscripts were not photocopied but were transcribed directly off the originals. Given his interest and abilities on the fiddle they were offered to Nicky McAuliffe by local past pupils of Padraig's. It can be dated at least from January 14th, 1951 to December 23rd, 1951.
Copies of manuscripts originally owned by Mickey Duggan a former pupil of Pádraig O’Keeffe. Some of the original manuscripts are in Pádraig O’Keeffe's music tablature system. The tune ‘Sean Ryan's wonder hornpipe’ is written in staff notation.
Copies of 16 different miscellaneous Pádraig O’Keeffe manuscripts which were given to Caoimhín Mac Aoidh by various people over the years. Three of the manuscripts are dated, the earliest is from April 1941 and the latest dates from October 1953. Some of the tunes were written on the inside of open cigarette packets etc. The collection is made up of 16 manuscripts in total and contains the greatest number of melodeon tablature tunes in Caoimhín Mac Aoidh's Pádraig O’Keeffe Collection.