Ireland’s Holy Wells County-by-County is a very exciting project set up and run by Dr. Celeste Ray Professor of Anthropology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Celeste has been carrying out research on Irish holy wells since 2000 and has spent a lot of time researching Ireland wells. The project came about thanks to National Geographic Funding and Celeste is currently in Ireland carrying out fieldwork and research and promoting the National Database to be given to the National Folklore Collection.
What is Ireland’s Holy Wells County-by-County Project?
Ireland’s Holy Wells County-by-County is a community-sourced survey of Ireland’s holy wells and their associated traditions. This citizen-research initiative encourages young people to interview their older neighbors and relatives and add their knowledge of well lore to a national database that will be given to the National Folklore Collection.
This freely-accessible and searchable resource will be an invaluable document of holy well sites, beliefs, and stories for generations to come.
What can you do to participate in the project?
As this is a is a community-sourced project so volunteers are need to populate the site with information about holy wells from their locality or region in Ireland.
So how can you help?
Do you know of a holy well which should be included in this project? Then go to the project website at http://ihwcbc.omeka.net
The website allows you to easily uploads information on holy well(s) such as location, accounts of traditional prayers or rounds, folklore about the well, along with photographs and video. I uploaded information on a holy well and its very straight forward process. If you find the holy well you want to up load is already populated but you have additional information, stories or photos you can contact the project directly and they can up date the entry.
To learn more about the County-by-County survey, contact Dr. Celeste Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 091 7817 (Irish number valid through November 5th) or have a read Holy Wells County-by-County Project Flyer 2017
Celeste Ray is also author of a wonderful book on the origins and history of holy wells called The Origins of Ireland’s Holy Wells.