Michael Longley papers
Arts Council of Northern Ireland records
Michael Longley papers > Arts Council of Northern Ireland records
Scope and Content Note
Michael Longley worked for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) from 1970 - 1991. Initially employed as temporary Exhibitions Officer, he quickly became director of Traditional Arts; in 1982 he became Combined Arts Director, a position from which he oversaw Traditional Arts, Young Arts and Community Arts. Throughout his career with the Arts Council he was particularly interested in encouraging literature in Northern Ireland, although as his autobiographical essay "Blackthorn & Bonsai" shows, he often did so in the face of much resistance from the Council. Towards the end of his tenure with ACNI he also became a founder member of the Cultural Traditions Group, an organization which attempted to celebrate the diverse traditions of the Irish arts scene. This series contains correspondence and printed material relating to all of these matters. Particularly notable here is correspondence from numerous publishing organizations, including publishing houses and "little" magazines, showing the burgeoning of literary output during the 1970s and 1980s in Ireland.
Subseries 9.1 contains materials collected by Michael Longley in connection with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI). These materials pertain to the Council as a whole, as distinct from a particular department. It includes reports made by Longley to the Council, as well as various Council minutes, reports, agendas and new releases.
Subseries 9.2 features various types of materials pertaining to specific ACNI Projects in the areas of Literature, Traditional Arts, Community Arts, and Young Arts. The correspondence subseries (9.3) has been divided into two main categories: correspondence regarding literary subjects, and correspondence regarding traditional Irish arts and community. The Literature category has been further divided into subcategories based on correspondent: correspondence with magazines and journals, presses, organizations, educational institutions, libraries, theatres and individuals. Arts Council publications, newspaper clippings, and other various printed material comprise Subseries 9.4.
During his tenure as an Arts Council director, Michael Longley also became a member of the Cultural Traditions Group, which was established in 1988. A branch of Northern Ireland's Community Relations Council, the Cultural Traditions Group promoted traditional Irish culture and art-much like ACNI's Traditional Arts department. Subseries 9.5 features materials that relate to the Cultural Traditions Group: correspondence, minutes, and printed material. [Note: Cultural Traditions Group has since been renamed "Cultural Diversity Programme."]
Organized into five subseries: (9.1) General Arts Council materials, (9.2) Arts Council projects, (9.3) Correspondence, (9.4) Printed material, and (9.5) Cultural Traditions Group materials.