Flowerfield and Ballymoney Writers take inspiration from the Sam Henry Collection

Rathlin Through the Lens
29th July 2019
Who do you think you are? Project background
25th August 2019

Flowerfield and Ballymoney Writers take inspiration from the Sam Henry Collection

Project Attributes


Sam Henry


Coleraine Museum


29th July 2019

Causeway Coast and Glens Museum Services have been working with members of the Flowerfield and Ballymoney Writers Groups on a project exploring the Sam Henry Collection.

Sam Henry (1878 – 1952) from Coleraine, worked as a Pensions and Excise Officer, but was also an avid folklorist, historian, photographer, ornithologist, naturalist, genealogist and musician. Through his work he formed relationships with an older generation and recorded aspects of their lives that are now all but forgotten. “In my contact with the old, who have all now passed away,” he wrote, “I had the rare privilege of sharing their folk lore and their old songs.” Sam is perhaps best known for his ‘Songs of the People’ series which ran in the Northern Constitution between 1923 and 1938. It published songs know, played and sung by people across Northern Ireland.

The writers explored objects, documents, books, diaries, letters and photographs within the Sam Henry collection. Taking inspiration from items within the archive the writers have composed fantastic new pieces of written work. These poems and pieces of short prose were read by the writers at an event in Flowerfield on 28th September 2017. Singer, Len Graham, shared some songs from the Sam Henry collection on the evening.

This project is part of a wider programme Sam Henry: Connecting with the Past, Collecting for the Future, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund and administrated by the Museums Association.