There are over 400 photographic albums covering a wide range of subjects from political to family albums. An index to this material is available in the Reading Room.
These photographs are from a number of individual collections, and are grouped together due to their format. They comprise portraits taken by commercial studios in the early days of photography and date from the late 1840s. They are known as daguerreotypes; an image produced on a copper plate with a layer of highly polished silver, set in a frame behind glass and enclosed in a presentation case, and ambrotypes; similar in style and presentation, but with the image on glass rather than copper, they came after the daguerreotype and were popular in the late 1850s.
A number of these cased photographs have been catalogued and digitised and can be found under their technical name (Daguerreotypes or Ambrotypes) in a 'Subject Keyword' search of the Online Catalogue.
Sir Roger Casement's papers are lodged in the Manuscripts Department of the National Library of Ireland. The associated photographs, numbering 110 prints are housed at the National Photographic Archive. There are some portraits of Casement and his family but the bulk of material concerns his investigative work in the Congo and South America. The collection has been fully catalogued and the images digitised in the Online Catalogue. A file containing a surrogate copy of the images is available in the National Photographic Archive reading room.
Edward Chandler, of Dublin, is a collector and independent historian of Irish photography, specifically of the Victorian era. The Library has acquired part of his varied collection of Irish photographs, about 1500 items, which comprise mainly carte-de-visites and cabinet portraits of unidentified people as well as early stereographs. There is a reference aid available in the National Photographic Archive reading room.
Colman Doyle Collection
This collection of approximately 28,000 prints and negatives collection covers the period 1954 – 2000. The collection provides excellent coverage of politics, social history, portraits, sport and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It represents almost sixty years of Doyle’s career as a photographer with the Irish Press and Paris Match. The collection is not yet available to researchers.
Commissioners of Irish Lights
This collection of approximately 500 glass plates, lantern slides and loose prints as well as 7 albums, was donated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights in 2000. Like the Panoramic Albums (see below) the vast bulk of photographs were taken by Sir Robert Ball at the turn of the last century, during the Commissioners annual tours of inspections around the coast.
The collection has been comprehensively indexed, surrogates are available for some of the images and the albums may be viewed in the Archive reading room (prior appointment is necessary). A book based on images from the collection entitled For the Safety of All is available from the shop in the Archive and the National Library for €13.
Congested Districts Board
This collection of photographs comprises principally 105 images, 40 of which can be attributed to the well known Belfast photographer Robert J. Welch, documenting congested districts along the western coast. The Congested Districts Board was established in 1891 and the work continued until 1923 when the Land Commission took over its functions.
Killybegs Harbour, ca. 1912 (Ref.: CDB42).
This collection has been catalogued and images accompany each of the records in the Online Catalogue. In addition surrogate copies are held in the Archive's reading room for reference. This collection formed the basis of the Regeneration exhibition.
W.D.Hogan was a commercial and press photographer located in Henry Street in Dublin between 1920 and 1935. It is likely that Hogan took these 160 photographs under contract. The 5" x 7" black and white photographs show life in early June and July 1922 in Dublin during the early Civil War period, with armed and uniformed men on the streets.
View from top of Nelson's Pillar, ca. 1921 (Ref.: Hog213).
The collection has been catalogued and digital images are available on the Online Catalogue. Surrogates are available for reference in the National Photographic Archive reading room.
These seven albums contain over 500 early 20th century panoramic views of coastal scenes around Ireland. The photographs were taken Sir Robert Ball, the scientific adviser to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, who accompanied them on coastal tours of inspection. These albums may be viewed in the National Photographic Archive reading room - prior appointment is necessary. For related material see the above entry on Commissioners of Irish Lights Collection.
The Tempest family of Dundalk, Co. Louth operated a successful printing and stationery business in the town. These 91 glass plates were taken by Harry Tempest and show life in Dundalk and the surrounding areas in the first decade of the 20th century.
Newgrange, Co. Meath, ca.1910 (Ref.: Tem129).
This collection has been catalogued and images accompany each of the records in the Online Catalogue or the Digital Photographs database
The 71 colour slides that make up this collection were taken by Englishman Richard Tilbrook during his visits to Ireland in the 1960s and early 70s. They are of excellent quality and feature life in rural Ireland with a particular emphasis on the traditional aspects of life; examples include Corpus Christi Processions, fishing and travellers. There are also some interesting views of the centre of Dublin prior to the destruction of Nelson's Pillar and the arrival of modern traffic congestion.
Corpus Christi Parade, Cahir, c. 1970 (Ref.: Til721).
The slides have been catalogued and digital images are available for each record in the Online Catalogue.
Thomas Johnson Westropp was a notable antiquary who wrote extensively on the history of a number of counties. He also had a penchant for photographic documentation, which resulted in this collection, compiled between 1898-1921, of around 1300 photographic prints. Westropp's unique volumes contain platinum prints of antiquities in fourteen counties, principally County Clare. Volumes 1, 6 and 7 include indexes to place and subject. These albums may be viewed in the National Photographic Archive reading room; prior appointment is recommended.
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