The National Folklore Collection has been inscribed on the prestigious Unesco 'Memory of the World' International Register.
This recognition by the United Nations' educational and cultural body acknowledges the unique documentation of Irish culture compiled by the Irish Folklore Commission.
It was compiled by its field workers from the 1930s to the 1960s who visited people in every county in Ireland, collecting folk tales, songs, poems and other cultural expressions. Several thousand manuscript volumes and more than 10,000 hours of audio recordings are held at University College Dublin.
The Unesco register recognises documentary heritage of "outstanding significance" to world culture. The register has recognised only one other Irish entry to date, the 'Book of Kells'. The register also comprises the 'Magna Carta', the 'Diary of Anne Frank', and the Bayeux Tapestry.
Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh said the award recognised the international importance of the collection.