History and Background About the Dunn Family Collection


Like many great tales, the history behind the Dunn Family Collection is rich in stories, background, and characters. Here you will learn more about the story of the Francis O'Neill Cylinders, the Dunn family members, and the other Irish musicians who played a role in this collection.

Read about the O'Neill Cylinders' history

O'Neill Cylinders History

Explore the story of the O'Neill Cylinders and how an attic in Milwaukee kept historic recordings of Irish traditional music safe for nearly 80 years.


Dunn Family

The history of Milwaukee's Dunn Family, including the tales of traditional musician and fire captain Michael J. Dunn.


Edward Cronin

Musician Biographies

Read about Francis O'Neill and the Chicago Irish musicians found on the wax cylinder recordings in this collection, including Patsy Touhey, James Early, John McFadden, Barney Delaney, and Edward Cronin.


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Extended CD Track Commentary

Learn some of the history behind the tunes recorded on the Francis O'Neill cylinders!

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Dunn manuscript collection


Look through digital versions of the Dunn manuscript collection.

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Ward Irish Music Archives, Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee Irish Fest