Offensive materials policy

Our website provides public access to historical archive materials collected by the Irish Folklore Commission and successor organisations, dating from the 1930s. Users should be mindful that the content of these materials reflects the norms and values appropriate to the period, and are a product of their times. In some isolated instances items represented here may contain language, negative stereotypes or descriptions of events which users find offensive or distressing.

The National Folklore Collection (NFC) strives to balance its responsibilities to both the individuals and communities who contributed to our archive and those who draw on and use this material. In order to uphold the social and historical context of our collections, and to safeguard the integrity of content published on dú, no original material has been altered or amended in any way. A faithful representation of the records in our care is essential to ensure trust in our archives, and in the work we do. At the same time, we endeavour to warn users about content which may cause offence or distress. In certain instances we may contextualise sensitive items through our descriptive records in two ways:

  • by placing potentially offensive or derogatory text in quotation marks, and
  • by clearly labelling potentially distressing items with content warnings.

The approach outlined in this policy is guided by international best practice and has taken responses to offensive and distressing materials (in both formal and community archival contexts) into account, along with contemporary academic discourse on the subject. This is an area of significant concern for the NFC and the Dúchas project; editors working with NFC collections on dú are being provided with guidance on the publication of sensitive material. This policy is subject to regular review by a dedicated sub-committee, and we welcome your feedback. Please contact if you have any questions about this policy or our work.