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Ward Irish Music Archives and Marquette University Team Up


Media Contact: Melissa Ward
Ward Irish Music Archives and Marquette University Team Up for New Internship Program
Tommy Makem Cultural Legacy Fund

MILWAUKEE, WI (JUNE 2019) – The Ward Irish Music Archives, of CelticMKE,  and the Public History program of Marquette University launched a new internship program that will give graduate students in the History Department a chance to acquire experience in the field of archiving and preservation, thanks to the Tommy Makem Cultural Legacy Fund.

Michael Whittaker, of Germantown, Wisconsin, will work as an intern at the Ward Irish Music Archives for the summer semester. Currently pursuing his Master’s Degree at Marquette, Whittaker’s specialization is in Early Modern and Modern Europe, with a concentration on the history of Ireland and Britain – specifically their intellectual, political and economic history.

“Michael has studied abroad in Derry [Northern Ireland] and is proficient with the Irish language; his research on Anglo-Irish politics, Irish service in World War I and primitive accumulation in Ireland caught our attention. With his passion and interest in Ireland and its history and culture, we are thrilled and eager to work with him in the Archives,” said Barry Stapleton, Director of the WIMA.

Whittaker will work on the Maureen O’Looney collection, which focuses on historical Ireland rebel songs and political tunes. His responsibilities will range from research, blog content curation, processing and cataloging materials, and digitization.

This new program is funded by CelticMKE’s Tommy Makem Cultural Legacy Fund. An internationally celebrated folk artist, Tommy Makem was an avid supporter of Milwaukee Irish Fest for 30 years. The Fund was established as a tribute to Makem, and to award, through grants and scholarships, living legacies that work to promote the Irish music and culture.

The program is designed to provide Marquette’s History graduate students with the opportunity to prepare for careers as historians by obtaining practical work experience in an archival and research environment.

About the Ward Irish Music Archives

Serving as the year-round educational arm of CelticMKE, the Ward Irish Music Archives aims to preserve and manage its collection of music, materials and artifacts, and provide access to the public to its collections for research, exhibition and educational programming. To learn more, visit the website at


CelticMKE | 1532 Wauwatosa Avenue | Milwaukee, WI 53213-2623 | Phone: (414) 476-3378 | Email:

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