photographic collections

Where Were You?

Where were you A very important and fascinating book was published this year, "Where Were You? Dublin Youth Culture & Street Style 1950-2000" by Garry O'Neil and Niall McCormack.

The book is a compilation of photographs documenting social and fashion scenes in Dublin. What sets this book apart is that there are no staged fashion shoots or celebrities, just amazing photographs of everyday people wearing what was in style and ordinary people with extraordinary style.

It's a very intimate account of street culture in Dublin. This feeling of intimacy is directly linked to the way in which the material was sourced. Posters were hung up in cafes, bars and shops around the city asking people to send in photos, rather then all the material being collected in newspaper archives.

Disease and Dirt: Public Health in Dublin, 1903-1917

Smallpox HospitalView Disease and Dirt Image Gallery

Dublin was one of the most depressed cities in Europe at the turn of the century. Declining industry, overcrowding, unemployment, and poor housing created a cauldron of poverty for many Dubliners. The connection between poverty and disease had been formally recognised in the nineteenth century. These rarely seen images from Dublin Corporation’s Reports Upon The State Of Public Health In The City Of Dublin show some of the measures taken by Dublin’s civic authority to curb the spread of infectious diseases. We hope that it may be of interest to anyone researching the social history of Dublin in the early twentieth century.

Ireland's Olympians

Eamon CoghlanAs Irish athletes prepare for 'the Games of the XXX Olympiad' this summer, we celebrate those Irish men and women who dared to go faster, aim higher, and be stronger in representing Ireland at the Olympic Games. These rare images from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection depict our athletes as they departed our shores in expectation and, for an exalted few, their return in triumph

This exhibition celebrates all who wore the green in the Olympic stadiums of the world.

View Ireland's Olympians Gallery

Dublin City Council Photographic Archive on the RTÉ History Show

Moore StreetDublin City Public Libraries made it on to the RTÉ Radio One History Show last Sunday evening (27th May) when Enda Leaney of the Libraries' Digital Projects' Section talked to show host Myles Dungan about the Dublin City Council Photographic Archive, the online image gallery and the associated roadshows taking place throughout the libraries (two still to go this May!).

The podcast of the Show is available on the RTÉ Radio One History Show page and can either be listened to online or downloaded for listening to on your portable player. 

Travellers: Images of Labre Park, Ballyfermot, 1968 and 1969

Labre ParkLabre Park was the first site built specifically for Travellers by a Local Authority in Ireland. It was opened in September 1967 at a cost of £50,000 and consisted of 39 concrete 'tigíns' in a row off Kylemore Road. Each 'tigín' was composed of a living room with a stove, a lavatory, and a place to wash. Residents of Labre Park slept in their caravans which were parked beside or behind each 'tigín'. Rents at Labre Park ranged from ten to thirty shillings per week.

View Labre Park Gallery.

The site was named after St. Benedict Joseph Labre (1748-1783) who is the patron saint of Travellers.

Dublin & Dubliners

Kevin StreetView Dublin & Dubliners Gallery

James Joyce's Dubliners (1914) presents a raw and uncompromising portrait of his native city in a book he described as 'my nicely polished looking glass'.

These images from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection show Dublin as it was over fifty years later. They illustrate how the city had changed and yet, in some respects, stayed the same. The churches, streets, and pubs through which Joyce's characters roamed and schemed remained as central to Dublin life in the middle of the twentieth century as at the beginning.

Religious Buildings

St Audeon'sDublin is a city of churches, chapels, and meeting houses. This image gallery depicts some of them. Some remain, some have changed use, and some have vanished but all live on in our collective memory. It is sometimes said that Dublin is more a patchwork of parishes than a homogenous city. The religious buildings of Dublin were more than places of worship. They were the totems of their respective communities and the stones and steeples depicted here are the vestiges of those they served.

View Religious Buildings Gallery

The Civil War In Dublin: Images from Irish Life (July 1922)

Royal Bank of IrelandView The Civil War In Dublin Gallery

On 28 June 1922 the forces of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State, led by Michael Collins, attacked the Anti-Treaty garrison at the Four Courts. This action is generally believed to mark the beginning of the Irish Civil War. Fighting spread to the centre of the city with Anti-Treaty troops occupying part of O’Connell Street (including the Gresham, Crown, Granville and Hammam Hotels) as  well as outposts on Gardiner Street, Parnell Street, and Aungier Street. The Anti-Treaty forces were defeated after a week of heavy bombardment and street fighting. Over three hundred combatants were killed or wounded with Republican leader Cathal Brugha among the fatalities. Over two hundred civilians were killed during ‘the Battle of Dublin’ that lasted from 28 June to the 5 July 1922.

Chislers: Images of Childhood in Dublin

Junior WardenView the Chislers Image Gallery

'Aisy, aisy, mind the chisler’.
Brendan Behan, The Confirmation Suit (1953)

This gallery consists of images of children going about their business in Dublin from the second half of the twentieth century up to the present day. It shows how Dublin’s childer and chislers filled their days from visits to the beach to dossing on street corners. It also shows the engagement of children in civic initiatives: the Junior Litter Wardens of Cabra and Ballymun, Community Pride events, Summer Projects, and the Community Games.

‘The Jacks Are Back’ – The Dubs in the 1970s

Jacks are back'The Jacks are back,
The Jacks are back,
Let the Railway End go barmy,
For Hill 16 has never seen,
The likes of Heffo’s Army.'

Dublin Terrace Chant, 1970s

View The Jacks Are Back Image Gallery.

On 26 May 1974 Dublin played Wexford in the first round of the Leinster Championship as the undercard to the replay of the National League Final between Kerry and Roscommon. The quality of the football that day was such that the Kerry and Roscommon fans started laughing in the Hogan Stand. Five months later the Dublin Captain Sean Doherty lifted the Sam Maguire. The Dubs had arrived and Gaelic Football was changed forever.