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Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann North America collection of Irish music materials

Collection IM-M104-2001: Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann North America collection of Irish music materials


  • Creation: circa 1920-2014, undated

Scope and Contents

The CCÉ North America collection of Irish music materials documents the history and activities of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in North America with reference to the activities of CCÉ in Ireland. The collection also reflects efforts by CCÉ North America members to preserve audio and video of performances of traditional Irish music, song, and dance in the United States and Canada.

The collection includes administrative records, branch profiles, and correspondence from CCÉ's branches in North America, as well as brief histories of the organization. It features promotional materials including brochures, photographs and reviews from CCÉ's annual North American concert tours. Additionally, it contains programs from CCÉ's annual North American Provincial Conventions, regional Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, and Fleadh Cheoil competitions in Ireland. Research materials include biographical sketches, interview transcripts, recordings, and sheet music manuscripts of Irish and Scottish music. While the collection includes music manuscripts from as early as circa 1920, the bulk of the materials date from the founding of CCÉ North America in 1972.


Language of Materials

This collection is primarily in English with some Irish.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research. Audiovisual media in this collection have been digitally copied; all original media were retained, but may not be played due to format. Digital use copies can only be accessed in the Burns Library Reading Room.

Copyright restrictions

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Historical note

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) was founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1951 to promote Irish music, song, dance, and language. In January 1951, members of the Thomas Street (Dublin) Pipers' Club met in County Westmeath to form an organization to promote Irish traditional music and to plan an annual festival of Irish music, song and dance. The first Fleadh Cheoil (music festival) was held in Mullingar in May 1951, and the first officers of Cumann Ceoltóirí na hÉireann were elected on October 14, 1951 in Dublin. The following year, the organization changed its name to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. The aim of the Fleadh Cheoil was to publicize traditional music and to forestall a decline in its popularity in Ireland. After only five years, the annual Fleadh had grown to a major national festival featuring performances from traditional musicians, singers, and dancers from throughout Ireland.

There are currently branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in every county in Ireland, sponsoring classes, concerts and cultural events in local communities. There are over 400 branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann worldwide including more than 50 branches in North America.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann's North American Province was established in Chicago in 1972. It sponsored its first concert tour group in October 1972, and today supports concerts, dance classes, music instruction, and other events in traditional Irish arts throughout the United States and Canada.

CCÉ's headquarters are located in Dublin, Ireland. CCÉ North America is organized into seven regional branches: Canada East, Canada West, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Southern and Western.


"Comhaltas North America." Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann North America. accessed on October 28, 2010,

"History." Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. accessed June 17, 2009,

McGraw, Ted. "The Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Archive of Traditional Irish Music," Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, vol. 29: 3-4 (2003): 44-45.


20.5 Linear Feet (31 containers)

2909 Gigabytes (200 files with approximately 137 hours of audio and video)


Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) is an international organization for the promotion of Irish music, song, dance, and language. These records document the history and activities of the CCÉ Province in North America, with related material from CCÉ in Ireland. The collection includes administrative records, promotional artifacts, biographical materials, as well as digital and analog media.


This collection is arranged in five series: I. Administration and history; II. Events and activities; III. Research materials and oral histories; IV. Artifacts; V. Posters and fliers.

Series II, Events and activities, is further arranged in seven subseries: A. North American tours; B. North American Provincial Convention; C. Regional Hall of Fame inductions; D. Fleadh Cheoil competitions; E. Other CCÉ events; F. Audiovisual materials; G. Photograph albums.

Series III, Research materials and oral histories, is further arranged in four subseries: A. Biographical materials; B. Audiovisual materials; C. Printed materials; D. Sheet music.

Custodial History

The CCÉ North America Collection of Irish Music Materials was established at Boston College in 2001 by Ted McGraw, Chair of the Archives Committee of CCÉ North America, under the guidance of then Provincial Chair, Frank Kennedy. The purpose of the collection is to document traditional Irish music and CCÉ activities in North America. Donors include Gerard Buckley, David Burke, Assunta Casey, Kelly Chole, Cathy Clarke, Mitzie Collins, Séamus Connolly, Eamonn Conway, John Daly, Eileen Dillon, Martin Donohoe, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Dooher, Richard Erwin, Helen Gannon, Ray Hallman, Karin Joyce, Frank and Regina Kennedy, Frankie McCormick, Bill McEvoy, Ted and Bridget McGraw, Anne Marie McLaughlin, Andrea Mori, Richard Muir, May Mullins, Ruairí Ó Bróin, Jim O'Leary, Jack and Victoria Pendergast, Ed Reavy Jr., Larry Reynolds, Brendan Tunney, and George Walker.


Gift from the Archive Committee of CCÉ North America, 2001-2014.

Related collections

Researchers may also be interested in other collections held by the Burns Library Irish Music Archives, including the Séamus Connolly Papers. Music collections held by CCÉ (Dublin) can be discovered at and

Separated Materials

Published materials from this collection have been cataloged individually and can be located in the Boston College Libraries online public catalog, under the local collection name CCE.

Processing Information

As a result of a library systems change in 2017, the identification number of this collection was modified from IMC.M104 to IM.M104.2001.

  • Duplicate programs and publications
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann North America Collection of Irish Music Materials
circa 1920-2014, undated
Matthew Heitzman, Summer 2009; Chrissy McKeon, February 2014; Bill Kelson
June 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States