We are thrilled to have been awarded another three-years of funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to continue the work of the Cainnt is Ceathramhan | Language and Lyrics project. We have undergone a tiny rebranding to reflect the fact that we are not just working with songs anymore, but have expanded our remit to include all types of Gaelic folklore!

The current focus of Cainnt is Ceathramhan is re-cataloguing, transcribing and improving access to the Cape Breton Gaelic Folklore Collection, housed at St. Francis Xavier University.

Dr. John Shaw

Between 1978 and 1982, Dr. John Shaw recorded over 2,000 items of folklore from around 150 Gaelic tradition-bearers in Cape Breton. The recordings were initially available as part of the Srùth nan Gàidheal | Gaelstream collection on the St FX site, but the interface for this collection was lost when the university suffered a serious server issue in 2017. The recordings are available again through Islandora on the St FX platform, but with very limited search functions or metadata.

We are again working in partnership with the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG), Gaelic Affairs Nova Scotia and Highland Village Museum, along with new partners Dr John Shaw, Colaisde na Gàidhlig | Gaelic College and Susan Cameron and Dr. Michael Linkletter at St FX University to improve the metadata, search functions and accessibility of this collection. We are also sourcing or creating transcriptions for a large proportion of the items. The current project will build on the work of our previous grant, as the 1,000 plus songs in the CB Gaelic Folklore Collection will also be included in the Nova Scotia Gaelic Song Index created between 2018 and 2022.

We look forward to keeping you updated and involved as we progress through the project. Look out for blog posts, invitations to transcription frolics, social media spotlights and more!


The Cainnt is Ceathramhan | Language and Lyrics management team are Dr. Heather Sparling, Mary Jane Lamond and Màiri Britton. You can read more about them here, as well as the previous ‘Language in Lyrics’ project (song database and educational resources).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s