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Archiving Irish America: Music, Dance, and Culture Conference

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Archiving Irish America: Music, Dance, and Culture

April 11-13, 2024

In Irish America, archives have been essential in allowing recent generations to tap into the long history of music, language, oral traditions, dance and folklore essential to a vibrant and living culture. Archiving Irish America: Music, Dance & Culture will bring together those who engage with archival materials in their research or creative practice, those who have collected and curated cultural treasures for these archives, and those who wish to contribute to documenting and creating Irish American culture through these important institutions.

Additional details coming soon!

Call for Papers


The conference calls for participants to explore the new realities of Irish archives in North America, complemented  with perspectives from Ireland and elsewhere. Of particular interest are the ways that cultural practitioners engage with archives and archival practices. The conference will feature presentations and workshops from the Ward Irish Music Archives (WIMA) that showcase their collections, archival projects, and practical insights.  

Presentations representing a wide range of modalities are encouraged, including academic research, ongoing collection projects, performance interpretations, personal engagements, and workshops on practical issues in collection or archiving. Presentations will be considered for online or other publication through WIMA, and presenters are encouraged to engage with this conference in a multi-media format. The conference will be in person at the Ward Irish Music Archives and will be livestreamed to expand audience participation. 

Examples of types of presentations:

  • Academic papers (20 minutes)
  • Personal experiences and narratives (20 minutes)
  • Presentation of archival resources or findings (20 minutes)
  • Demonstrations or performances of archival materials (30 or 60 minutes)
  • Roundtable discussions on relevant topics (3–4 people for 60 or 90 minutes)
  • Digital poster presentations with short 5-minute video reel

Submissions are due 5pm Central Time on November 17th and responses will be given in mid-December. If you have further questions, please reach out to us at wimaconference@irishfest.com.

Submit Paper/Presentation

About the Ward Irish Music Archives

The Ward Irish Music Archives (WIMA) collects, promotes, preserves, and disseminates Irish and Irish-American musics in all their forms.  WIMA makes these cultural resources available to researchers, artists, and the general public now and into the future for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, and practice.

Established in 1992, WIMA houses one of the largest public collections of Irish music in America. The pieces in the Archives, as well as events, traveling exhibits, CD projects and our online digital collections ensure this important part of Irish American history is preserved and accessible to collectors, enthusiasts, students and lovers of music in any form.

With support from the Emigrant Support Programme

Emigrant Support Programme

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