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date: 21 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how Irish traditional music provides a case study for analyzing how archives function actively in various interdependent public spheres. As archives are decontextualized snapshots of cultural expressions by which traditional form and continuity are measured and defined, they are at once authoritatively representative and dynamically unbound to a singular authoritative representation. The repatriation of collections and archives, as a complex and multifaceted act, is often seen categorically as a culturally restorative measure—a way to recontextualize a static collection. Repatriation ethics subsequently defer to establishing contextually relevant rights and privileges over the heritage contained within archives. Through the exploration of approaches in developing and re-appropriating archives of Irish traditional music, this chapter reveals that the repatriation of archives is an intersection of subjects much more complex and conceptually varied than that which can be articulated through the simple transfer or relocation of archival materials.

Keywords: access, archival theory, archives, Bakhtin, heteroglossia, Irish traditional music, ITMA, re-appropriation, repatriation, trad music

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