Irish Traditional Music Archive Appoints Successor to Nicholas Carolan

The Board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Grace Toland as the next Director of ITMA. She will take up office later this year. The current Director, Nicholas Carolan, co-founded the Archive in 1987 and has led its development into a leading repository of Irish cultural materials ( Nicholas is due to retire in mid-2015.
ITMA Chairman Dermot McLaughlin said ‘The Board of ITMA has been involved in planning this succession process for more than two years, and we are delighted that our recruitment campaign has produced this result. We knew that finding a successor to our founding Director, Nicholas Carolan, would not be easy. Our recruitment campaign went live in October 2014, and we are pleased with the quality of candidates who made it to the shortlist and final stages of the competitive selection process. The Board have every confidence that Grace Toland will use her extensive experience of working in libraries and archives along with her managerial skills, artistic credentials and performance profile to bring to this leadership role exactly the kind of vision and ambition that ITMA needs in this next exciting phase of its growth.’

Grace Toland
Grace Toland is a native of Inishowen, Co Donegal, a well known recorded traditional singer in English and Irish, and a familiar and respected figure on the traditional music scene. She has played a prominent role in sustaining and reviving traditional song in Inishowen. She holds honours qualifications in History, Archaeology, and Library & Information Studies, and her professional background includes the roles of Information Officer at Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Assistant Librarian of the School of Celtic Studies (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), and cataloguer of various library collections. She has recently been elected an Associate of the Library Association of Ireland. Since 2006 she has been Librarian of ITMA, where her responsibilities have included information management, collections care and user services, and international best practice. She is responsible for ITMA’s successful Inishowen Song Project microsite and her current projects include management of ITMA’s contribution to Europeana Sounds, an EU-funded project for improving public access to European audio materials.

Nicholas Carolan
Nicholas Carolan is the founding Director of ITMA which was established in 1987. Under his direction, ITMA has become Ireland’s principal archive and resource organisation for Irish traditional music, song and dance. ITMA is widely recognised as a leading and innovative expert organisation that plays an important role in the development of Ireland’s cultural and digital infrastructure. Above all, ITMA is a valued and respected resource for the community of traditional performers, audiences, researchers, broadcasters, academics and the general public. Under Nicholas Carolan’s direction, and through the success of the television series Come West along the Road (RTÉ) and Siar an Bóthar (TG4) which he has researched and presented since 1994, ITMA has been established as the largest repository in existence of the materials of Irish traditional music, song and dance. ITMA’s collections are unequalled anywhere in the world, and its catalogue and a large collection of digitised materials are now freely accessible online at Nicholas Carolan is due to retire in mid-2015, and the Board looks forward to continuing its relationship with him in the years ahead.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is a national public archive and resource centre for the traditional song, instrumental music and dance of Ireland. ITMA is funded mainly by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and is housed in State-owned premises at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin. It holds for open public access the largest collection in existence of the materials of Irish traditional music and of information on the music, and actively makes selections from its holdings freely available worldwide.
Grace Toland’s appointment is the outcome of a planned succession and recruitment process that has been managed by the Board of ITMA; the process included public advertisement (31 October 2014), a written application process, shortlisting, first-stage interviews & presentations, and second-stage interviews that included an assessment of practical high level management tasks.
For further information, contact ITMA, 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, tel. +353-(0)1-661 9699, email