The Henebry/O’Neill Wax Cylinder Collection made available here is the twenty-first century fulfillment of the ambitions of its original visionary, the Rev. Dr Richard Henebry (1863-1916).

cylinderThe cylinder recordings which have been digitised and are now contained within this on-line collection constitute recordings gathered by Henebry through his own fieldwork and also contributions to the collection by his erstwhile contemporary collector, Francis O’Neill of Chicago.

Henebry’s cylinder recordings are part of his noble aspiration to build a national archive of Irish traditional music at University College Cork in the first decade of the twentieth century, the first such initiative in Ireland, and one which ultimately was not realised during his lifetime. His recordings are among the first field recordings to be made in Ireland of Irish traditional music. It is fitting that these recordings are now part of the corpus of digital archive sources for Irish traditional music hosted by UCC.

The dissemination of the digitised contents of the Henebry and O’Neill cylinders expands the soundscape from which Irish traditional musicians and scholars will draw inspiration and enjoyment. That this music is now excavated and recovered from the university basement in which it resided, rarely heard, for a century or more is also in keeping with Henebry’s ambition that the music be made available for all to hear.

Henebry/O’Neill Project Team

Project Leaders:
Dr Mel Mercier (Department of Music, UCC)
Crónán Ó Doibhlin (UCC Library, UCC)

Project Assistant:
Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby (Department of Music, UCC)

Cylinder Digitisation:
Henri Chamoux

Library Support:
Elaine Charwat (UCC Library)

Chris Hurley, Maximilian Le Cain and Ed Cashman (Cork Film Centre)

Website Design:
Frank Prendergast

Website Text and Research:
Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin (Centre for Irish Studies, NUIG)

Tune Notation:
Fiachra Ó Corragáin (Department of Music, UCC)

Photography and Technical Assistance:
John Hough (Department of Music, UCC)

Assistant Audio Engineer:
Tadhg Kelleher (Sulán Studios)

Website Editing:
John Hough

The Henebry/O’Neill wax cylinder collection is held in Special Collections, UCC Library (Contact Elaine Harrington, Special Collections Librarian, email:

Project Supporters:
University College Cork, Ireland and the project team gratefully and sincerely acknowledge Bill and Una Murphy who through their generosity enabled the realization of this significant project.

All donations to University College Cork are facilitated through Cork University Foundation (Ireland), Irish Educational Foundation and American Ireland Fund (USA) and the UK Educational Foundation (UK) working in partnership with the University College Cork Development and Alumni team.

Dr Jean Van Sinderen-Law (UCC)
John Fitzgerald (UCC)
Colette McKenna (UCC)
Carmel Daly (UCC)
Patrick Egan (UCC)
William Power (Mount Bolton, Co. Waterford)