The Dunn Family Collection, c. 1904 - c. 1935

Donated to WIMA by David K. Dunn, this collection contains the manuscripts, books, sheet music, recordings, artifacts and ephemera collected by Michael J. Dunn. Musician and instrument maker/repairer Michael J. Dunn (1855 - 1935), also a captain of the Milwaukee Fire Department, was a contemporary and associate of the famed Irish music collector, Francis O'Neill. It is believed that Dunn received private recordings and other materials belonging to O'Neill after the death of Sergeant James Early of Chicago in 1914.

This collection contains thirty-two wax cylinders recorded sometime between c. 1904 and c. 1914 by Francis O'Neill of Chicago. The cylinders capture performances by noted uilleann piper Patrick Touhey, as well as Chicago musicians James Early, Bernard Delaney, John McFadden, and Edward Cronin. The collection also includes five hand-written manuscripts of Irish tunes, notated copies of O'Neill's Music of Ireland and Dance Music of Ireland (including hand-written music gathered from Touhey and Turlough McSweeney, the Donegal piper), as well as instruments, books, sheet music, and other items from Michael J. Dunn.

Ward Irish Music Archives


Established in 1992, the Ward Irish Music Archives houses the largest public collection of Irish music in America.


Irish Traditional Music Archive


Irish Traditional Music Archive


Dunn Family Collection Press


The Irish Times prints a great article about Francis O'Neill and the Dunn Family Collection!


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Ward Irish Music Archives, Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee Irish Fest