Béal Beo

Recordings from the National Folklore Collection

The Cylinder Project

Early Irish Voices

The audio archive of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, houses some 1,100 wax cylinder recordings of folk narratives, folk song and folk music. The earliest of these date from the 1890s on the occasion of the first national Feis Ceoil competitions, which were held in Dublin and Belfast. This unique collection spans almost sixty years of folklore recording up to the mid 20th century. A selection is now available on Béal Beo.

Click here To view and Listen

About Béal Beo

BÉAL BEO is an initiative to publish on the web a selection of the unique collection of early wax cylinder (Ediphone) sound recordings, in Irish and English, held in the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin.


Early sound recordings are a valuable resource for the study of Irish and Irish-English, offering clues to historical changes in the dialects of both languages. They are also a significant source material for historians of social and cultural history.


The Béal Beo website went live in December 2011, featuring early wax cylinder recofdings of the National Folklore Collection. A range of other audio digitization projects is being undertaken.