Norman Metcalfe Document Collection

Repository: Irish Film Archive

Identity Statement

TitleNorman Metcalfe Document Collection
Archive ReferenceIE IFA/5
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/norman-metcalfe-document-collection
Creation Dates1934-1979
Extent Medium258 items

Context

Creator(s): Norman Metcalfe

  • Administrative History ↴

    Metcalfe was born in Limerick, the son of Granville and Beatrice Metcalfe who were professional musicians. Metcalfe won a number of Feis Ceoil as a child, and at 15 was deputy organist at Limerick Cathedral. He began playing organ in the Savoy Cinema Limerick and in 1945 was appointed organist to the Irish Cinemas Ltd. Circuit, travelling the country and playing in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. His ciné-variety show was very popular, and included the projection of lyrics which he and the audience would sing along to. He worked as resident organist in both the Savoy and Theatre Royal Cinemas in Dublin. In 1949 his cinema organ playing was broadcast on Radio Eireann, and he appeared regularly on the radio during the 1950s while working as a free-lance organist. He also appeared on the BBC shows “Workers’ Playtime” and “Search for a Song”, and from the 1970s until 1981 provided musical clues on the RTE quiz-show “Quicksilver”.
  • Archival History ↴

    Donation
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Donation

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Norman Metcalfe ↴

    The largest part of the collection is the glass plate slides, numbering around 250. According to the donor these were handpainted by Metcalfe, and they show song lyrics, illustrations, introductions to songs, and guessing games. There is also a file of copied newspaper clippings spanning Metcalfe’s career, from his childhood Feis participation until his death. Finally there are seven black and white photographs which appear to be publicity photographs release by the Theatre Royal, showing various performers at the cinema.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The largest part of the collection is the glass plate slides, numbering around 250. According to the donor these were handpainted by Metcalfe, and they show song lyrics, illustrations, introductions to songs, and guessing games. There is also a file of copied newspaper clippings spanning Metcalfe’s career, from his childhood Feis participation until his death. Finally there are seven black and white photographs which appear to be publicity photographs release by the Theatre Royal, showing various performers at the cinema.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Accessible by appointment. Access to some of the glass slides may be restricted due to their condition.
Creation Dates1934-1979
Extent Medium258 items
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Characteristics Tech ReqMany of the slides are in poor condition and have become separated from their backing, meaning that the painted portion is prone to damage. Some have also cracked or are broken into pieces, and have sharp edges.

Allied Materials

Originals InformationThe newspaper clippings were photocopied from scrapbooks loaned by the donor and the originals were subsequently returned.

Notes

NoteNorman Metcalfe’s name is spelled “Norman Metcalf” in the earlier portion of the clippings collection, but later becomes “Norman Metcalfe”.

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteRebecca Grant
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions2010