Thursday, June 11, 2009

20,000 Images of Ireland Available Online


The National Library of Ireland has just introduced an online service whereby 20,000 photographs from the Lawrence, Poole and Independent Newspapers collections (1870-1954) in their National Photographic Archive can now be viewed on the Library’s website here.

The initiative is part of an ongoing digitisation project designed to increase online access to the National Photographic Archive’s extensive collection of glass plate negatives. These are part of the National Library’s photographic collection, the largest collection in the world of photographs relating to Ireland.

The database provides an easy means of searching the information about all 20,000 digitised photographs, including the option to search by keywords such as “eviction”, “election”, “women”, or “market”. I searched for "poet" and "poetry" but got no results.

The picture at the top, from the archive, from Independent Newspapers, is captioned Member of the Free State Army guarding Sligo Town Hall and dated 16 August 1922.

This is a very interesting picture. I included a very similar one with most of the same people in it in my The Aftermath of Revolution book as a photo of anti-Treaty soldiers in Sligo in April 1922 on the occasion of Arthur Griffith's pro-Treaty meeting there. (New York Times report here) I got the picture from George Morrison. In fact both my picture and the picture above are from a Pathe Newsreel of the April sligo event. You can actually see the newsreel on the wonderful Pathe Archive here.

So are they pro- or anti-Treaty? It matters little now but it's definitely April 1922. Someone did tell me that the officer with the revolver may be Harry Brehony who was shot dead in Coolaney, Co Sligo during the Civil War. If that's true then they are definitely anti-Treaty. They lost that war of course.

1 comment:

BarbaraS said...

Wow, there's so much of our national archive being launched like this now. We'll have no excuse now for sifting through our history