The National Folklore Foundation (Fondúireacht Bhéaloideas Éireann), a new University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company, has been incorporated with charitable status.

The company has been established to preserve, protect and promote Ireland’s National Folklore Collection. UCD is a custodian of many collections of cultural, artistic and scientific significance, including the National Folklore Collection, which it holds in trust for the people of Ireland.

The National Folklore Collection at UCD is a unique collection of Ireland’s folklore heritage and is one of the largest folklore collections in the world. It was inherited from the Irish Folklore Commission in 1970 whose mission it continues through the expansion of the collection.

The collection runs to 3 million pages in manuscript form and represents the voices of 100,000 contributors, including 10,000 hours of audio recordings, 70,000 photographs, and 1,000 hours of moving images.

The Irish Folklore Commission was established in 1935 by Éamon de Valera and President Michael D. Higgins is patron of the National Folklore Collection at UCD.

Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin, Director, National Folklore Collection, UCD and a board member of the National Folklore Foundation said, “A primary objective in establishing the National Folklore Foundation is to increase public awareness of and interest in Irish Folklore.”

“Fund raising through the Foundation will now enable us to enhance the Collection as a national resource. We can now source, research, collect, compile and preserve new Irish folklore material. It will now be possible to publish and disseminate new and current material, nationally and internationally, through the National Folklore Foundation.”

Cathal Goan, Chairman of the National Folklore Foundation said, “The establishment of the National Folklore Foundation will foster the development of relationships with other existing foundations and trusts, along with the development of corporate and private donation schemes to maximise income for the Foundation. This will enable the dissemination of Ireland’s rich folklore heritage to a wide national and global audience.”

Brendan Cremen, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD, said, “We are delighted to apply our proven NovaUCD start-up capability to the cultural and arts arena. The establishment of this new UCD spin-out company will enable the promotion of a deeper understanding of Irish cultural heritage, locally and globally. This will help to position UCD as one of the largest custodians of folklore around the world and help enhance UCD’s international position and reputation in the arts.”

The National Folklore Foundation, a spin-out from the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics, completed the 2013 UCD Venture Launch Accelerator Programme. The objective of this annual 3-month programme, held at NovaUCD, is to equip UCD researchers with the knowledge, skills and understanding that is required to work as part of a team leading a new commercial venture and to develop a commercially viable business plan.

Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin, Director, National Folklore Collection, UCD; Cathal Goan, former Director General, RTÉ and Chairman of the National Folklore Foundation and Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, a lecturerNick Bradshaw