photographic collections

The Evolving Face of a Dubliner

Mark LeddyAn American studying in Ireland has the opportunity for many adventures and cultural experiences. Although I never thought my experiences would enable me to search for a nameless face in an intriguing old photograph. But somehow it did and I’m certainly glad it did.

As a student at Trinity College pursuing my Master’s in Public History and Cultural Heritage, I decided to take on my internship at the Dublin City Library and Archive (DCLA); I knew I wanted to work with people and photographs and I felt this was the place to do it.

As I searched through the countless photographs at DCLA, I sought to discover a face with a story, even though that story was at the time unknown to me.

Sharing Memories at the Mansion House

Jimmy JohnstonWe thought this scan from last Saturday when members of the public came along to the Mansion House to share their memories of said beautiful building particularly interesting. Might you agree?

The photo (see below) shows the winner of the 1977 Men's World dancing championship, Jimmy Johnston from Dundalk, centre, together with the runner-up and third placed. . The event of course took place in the Round Room of the Mansion House.  Many thanks to Jimmy for permissions to use the photo.

Note the runner-up, one Mike Flatley from Chicago. I wonder... ?

Those Were the Days - Dublin in the 80s

1980s The VanView Image Gallery.

Mass unemployment and continuous emigration. On-going tragedy in Northern Ireland. Planning scandals. Hurricane Charlie, dreadful summers, pea-souper smogs. Urban decay and phone queues. Pirate radio stations, disco balls and leg-warmers. Eurovision highs and lows. Zig and Zag.

The 1980s have a lot to answer for..

Searching for Faces of the Past

Man taking part in 1961 Clean the Beach ActI am a student at Trinity College Dublin pursuing my Master’s degree in Public History and Cultural Heritage. I am currently working on a project which will bring both the past and present into focus. It will revitalize photographs of the past and place them into terms of modernity. The attached three images are of people I would like to learn more about and if possible, speak with in order to learn more about their lives, their personal history and memory, and the circumstances of when the photographs were taken. This project will eventually become part of an online image gallery and perhaps a newspaper article. 

Left: The photo was taken in 1961 as a part of Clean the Beach Act. (click to enlarge)

Nelson and Company: The Moving Statues of Dublin

Anna LiviaView 'Nelson and Company: The Moving Statues of Dublin' Image Gallery.

Monuments and statues are a significant feature of the cityscape of Dublin; some make an appearance for a short period of time, while others become more permanent fixtures.  This collection of images represents some of those statues that have spent time in the capital city, as well as some that are soon to move.  Certain monuments that no longer adorn the streets and parks of Dublin reflect the nation’s indefatigable struggle to regain independence, such as those that were notably connected to the British Monarchy, which unfortunately included the only three equestrian statues in Ireland. Over the years monuments were destroyed, but not always beyond repair; and there are those that can now be found in new surroundings in other parts of the world, such as the monument to Queen Victoria, once to be seen in the grounds of Leinster House on Kildare Street but now stands proudly outside the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia.

Breathing Spaces - Dublin's Parks and Green Places

Oscar Square, Dublin 8View Breathing Spaces - Dublin's Parks and Green Spaces Image Gallery.

In its earliest form, the park was land used for hunting wild animals. The Phoenix Park owes its origins to the Duke of Ormonde, who introduced deer onto the walled area he used for hunting during the mid-17th century. The word later came to signify  the enclosed land  around the homes of the wealthy, by definition an exclusive domain which only a privileged few could access. As time went on, the idea of the park as a public space emerged; the Georgian squares of Dublin were perhaps halfway between public and private space, as they were the preserve of the families who  lived in the houses surrounding the central square. Some of Dublin’s earliest parks were created this way, becoming, over time, more open to the ordinary citizens of Dublin. Several of our parks have dark beginnings, as burial places, or even, in the case of St Stephen’s Green, as a place of execution – a fact which adds a whole new dimension to the idea of the park as place of public entertainment.

Our Stable Companion – the Dublin Horse

Horse at SmithfieldView Our Stable Companion Image Gallery.

January 31st sees the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Horse, and this gallery is a tribute to an animal which has been a friend to Dubliners through the centuries. Whether as a working horse, a military high-stepper, a means of transport or simply a beloved companion, these images show the important role Dublin horses played in daily life throughout the last century, from those pulling the Lord Mayor’s Coach to those feeding from an old car in Labre Park.

Many of us still remember how the working horses of Dublin pulled carts for coalmen. Not so many of us will have seen the horse-drawn barges which ceased working in the 1930s and probably none of us the great war-horses that once paraded proudly though the city. During the 19th century, Ireland was a huge supplier of horses for the British Army, with one of the major remount depots in the country located at Islandbridge (Clancy) barracks. The tradition of the fine army horse can still be seen in the Horse Show photographs of the Irish equestrian teams of the 1980s and the connection between the horse and the defence forces has been renewed in more recent years with the establishment of the Garda Mounted Unit in 1998.

Anniversary of the 1913 Lockout

Abbey Street, 1 Sept 1913Monday, 26th August, marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the strike in Dublin of 700 tramway-men belonging to James Larkin’s Irish Transport and  General Workers’ Union (IT&GWU), a strike that developed into a general lockout of union members. On 30th August 1913 there were riots in Ringsend, Beresford Place and Eden Quay, during which the police baton-charged the crowds. One hundred years ago next Saturday (31st August) James Larkin, wearing a beard as a disguise, spoke to striking tramway workers from the balcony of the Imperial Hotel, O’Connell Street (now Clery’s Department Store). A riot followed Larkin's arrest at the event, and over 600 people were treated in hospital for injuries. That day became known as "Bloody Sunday".

Left: Image from A Capital in Conflict, Dublin City and the 1913 Lockout. Copyright: Dublin City Library & Archive

Dublin in the Detail

Phil LynottView Dublin in the Detail Image Gallery.

This gallery consists of images of Dublin street furniture, sculptures, statues and other landmarks, many of which you might not even notice as you walk by. The photographs are from the Photographing Dublin Collection, a collection of circa 900 photographs all taken by Dublin City Public Libraries staff during 2006. The Collection is held in the Dublin City Library and Archive.

The "Dublin in the Detail" gallery was created by Stephanie Krall, a German intern from the University of Applied Sciences in Kehl, during her internship in Dublin City Council in spring 2013.

Heart of Dublin: Gloucester Diamond

Diamond BarView Gloucester Diamond Image Gallery 

The Gloucester Diamond got its name from the diamond-shaped intersection at Gloucester Place and Sean Macdermott Street. Colloquially, ‘The Diamond’ refers not just to Gloucester Place, but the entire area surrounding it. It is recorded in Thomas Campbell’s map of 1811 which predates the first Ordnance Survey maps of the area (1829-41).

Sean Macdermott Street was then called Gloucester Street, and received its present name in 1933. The Diamond was located not only in the heart of the city but also in the heart of one of Dublin’s former red-light districts, the infamous 'Monto', which comprised the area enclosed by Summerhill in the north, Talbot Street in the South, Marlborough Street to the west and Buckingham Street/Portland Row to the east.