Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (Patrick Egan) | Digital Humanist and Ethnomusicologist in Cork, Ireland

DHUnbound 2022 – Survey Poster

The latest news on Patrick’s research:

Patrick Egan is a scholar and musician from Ireland, who in 2019 served as a Fellow in Digital Studies at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress and a Fulbright Tech Impact scholarship. His PhD focused on digital humanities with ethnomusicology at University College Cork. Patrick’s interests over the past number of years have explored ways to creatively use descriptive data (metadata) in order to re-imagine how research is conducted with archival collections.

Survey of irish Traditional Music in North America

Survey of irish Traditional Music in North America

Throughout 2019, Patrick worked on a number of digital projects under the title, Connections in Sound. Patrick is sharing data about recordings of Irish traditional music collected and held by the American Folklife Center (AFC). Patrick’s research aims to understand more fully the role that archives and collections might play in the lives of performers, as a result of the digital turn. He has created a number of prototypes for exploring the collections and some examples can be seen below. Patrick agreed to share his research and these ongoing digital projects with the public as he created them and he’s interested in receiving feedback from researchers, experts, librarians, archivists and the Irish traditional music community.


Pathways to the collections that contain Irish traditional music at the American Folklife Center: 

Irish born emigrants in the US (1850-1980) and locations of collections that were discovered during the “Connections in Sound” project:

Patrick conducted a survey of Irish traditional music in North America (finished in 2020), with specific reference to the use of sound files on the internet and with the websites of archives. A visualisation of a sample set of results at the end of 2019 is shown below, with over 439 responses. By September 2020, the total responses for this survey were 528. This survey is online and open until the end of October.

These projects are work-in-progress. You can follow Patrick as he documents his fellowships at the Library of Congress on Twitter. Comment and share your ideas with him there or in the comments below. A final note from Patrick: “This research is digital and cultural in nature, and community feedback is greatly encouraged and much appreciated.”

Patrick is sharing the results of his research in a number of ways. He is documenting his research and thoughts via Open Science Framework. You can dig into his wiki activity and explore the collections data for yourself. You can find code for these visualizations at Patrick’s GitHub account here.

Event: Revealing and uniting hidden recordings of Irish traditional music 

During his time as a Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies and Fulbright Tech Impact scholar, Patrick Egan’s project, Connections in Sound focused on experimental ways to re-combine archived audio material in the digital age. On Thursday 29th August 2019 at 12pm in Library of Congress room LJ119, Patrick was in conversation with staff from the American Folklife Center and digital experts about the audio collections that contain Irish traditional music. He presented some digital visualizations and digital infrastructures that he is using for linking music recordings, and finished with a performance of Irish traditional music with local DC musicians.

Check out this inspiring TED talk by Jaron Lanier on “how we need to remake the internet”.

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