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A New Collection of Gaelic Recordings From Nova Scotia

22 Sep 2022 9:59 AM | Anonymous

A collection of Gaelic recordings made in Nova Scotia is launched online today by the University of Glasgow.

The recordings by Professor Calum Iain N. MacLeod (Calum Iain M. MacLeòid, 1913–1977) will be held in British Academy recognised project, Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG), led by the University of Glasgow.

The collection includes interviews, conversations, music, hymns and psalms, and songs largely from people in Nova Scotia. Most of the material is in Scottish Gaelic but some recordings also feature English and French.

Eilidh Cormack, a renowned Gaelic singer, who worked on many of MacLeod’s recordings for DASG said: “We are so fortunate that he chose to gift the University of Glasgow, where he was once himself a student, his collection and his fieldwork, and that it is still with us today.”

The collector, Calum Iain N. MacLeod, was an important figure in the history of the Gaelic community in Nova Scotia. The son of the Gaelic writer John N. MacLeod, he was brought up in Dornie and Kirkhill, Inverness-shire. He attended both Edinburgh and Glasgow universities and won recognition as a brilliant student in Celtic studies. In 1937, he won An Comunn Gàidhealach’s Bardic Crown.

During WWII, he was a major in the British Intelligence Corps serving in North Africa and across Europe. He emigrated to Canada in 1949 to work as Gaelic Advisor to the Education Department of the Nova Scotia government. And he was appointed as Professor of Celtic Studies at St. Francis Xavier University.

The new online collection of recordings will be a useful resource to all those interested in Gaelic folklore, language and song, especially in the context of Nova Scotia’s Gaelic communities.

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You can learn more about the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG) at:

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