The History Department holds a wide range of photographs comprising over 100,000 topographical, portrait and historic images, mostly black and white, in print and negative formats.
They mainly date from c.1880, and relate principally to the northern parts of Ireland, although other regions are covered, most importantly the west.
Image Right: Children enjoying a day out at Portrush Harbour beach. Click to enlarge.
Signature collections include;
- Renowned local photographers; R.J. Welch (1859 - 1936) and A.R. Hogg (1870 - 1939)
- Belfast antiquarian F. J. Bigger (1863 - 1926)
- The Ulster Tourist Development Association, which primarily covers the period c.1940 to 1970.
Other collections of note include those of:
- Cecil Newman, describing local urban and road development in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Bob Martin, a shipyard worker and amateur photographer whose images reflect life in Belfast and output at Harland and Wolff's in the1950s and 1960s.
- The Garland collection, which records the aftermath of the Belfast Blitzs, 1941, and the work of local home defence agencies.
- The Hackney collection of photographic albums and accompanying diaries charting the recruitment and training of the 36th Ulster Division and their journey to the Battle of the Somme and beyond.
- The Browne collection of photographs relating to civil engineering projects post 1945; and an album of photographs by Glass relating to the Land War in Gweedore, Co. Donegal, in the 1880s.
The Department also maintains a large collection of lantern slides depicting social, economic and industrial life in Ireland in the late 1800s and 1900s; and a large, publicly-accessible photographic archive, which includes copies of major collections held elsewhere in public and private hands, such as the Annesly, Young and Langham collections.
The photographic collections also chart the development of photography from its beginnings, including examples of early photographs such as daguerrotypes and calotypes.
The Department also holds a substantial collection of cameras, magic lanterns and photographic equipment, dating from the 1850s, and a large postcard collection.
Catalogue of R. J. Welch Historical and Topographical Photographs
The Welch collection of historical and topographic glass plate negatives comprises c.3000 images, covering most of the island of Ireland dating from c.1880 to 1936.
Image Right: H10.46.44:Shipyard Workers leaving the Island, Queen's Road, Belfast, by R.J. Welch, c.1900. Click to enlarge.
Catalogue of A. R. Hogg Photograph Collection
The Hogg collection of historical photographs comprises c.5000 glass plate negatives, covering most of the island of Ireland dating from c.1880 to 1939.
There is also a substantial sub-collection of named portrait photographs. The collection is arranged topographically and alphabetically, while the portraits are arranged into images of single individuals and groups.
Image Right: H10.31.16: Jacquard Weaver, Brookfield line Company, Crumlin Road, Belfast, by A.R. Hogg, c.1900. Click to enlarge.
*Please note the Catalogue is arranged topographically and alphabetically by county and by district electoral division.
Ordering a Print:
Readers wishing to purchase copies of any of the photographs listed in the catalogue should do so by contacting National Museums Northern Ireland’s Picture Library by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 028 9039 5109 and quoting the relevant reference codes.
National Museums Northern Ireland has an extensive Collection of Images, many of which are available to purchase as prints via our Picture Library .
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