Traffic jams during the 1974 CIE Bus Strikes, Croagh Patrick Pilgrimages (1958), and jubilant Heffo’s army supporters are among 43,000 historic photographs and documents which are being made freely available online by Dublin City Council today. These formerly unseen images date as early as 1757 and include photographs, postcards, letters, maps and historical memorabilia.Highlights of the collection, which can be found at digital.libraries.dublincity.ie, include the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection with images of people, places and tourist locations all across Ireland from the 1930s, the Irish Theatre Archive Photographic Collection, and Dublin City Council Photographic Collection. Much of the material provides photographic evidence of Dublin's ever-changing streetscapes and buildings, as well as significant social, cultural, sporting, and political events in the City. Events as diverse as the Eucharistic Congress (1932), bonny baby competitions in the North Inner City, and the Dublin Football Team of the 1970s all feature, along with sombre Dublin streets in the aftermath of tragedies such as the 1941 North Strand and the 1974 Bombings.Two collections which are hugely significant in this Decade of Commemoration also are accessible on the Digital Repository. The Birth of the Republic Collection, which comprises material from the period of the foundation of the Irish State and archives of Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association which relate to Irishmen in World War 1. More material relating to 1912-1922 period will be added over the coming months and years, including the unique Jacobs Biscuit Factory Archive.Left: Traffic jam in Fairview during the 1974 Bus Strike. (click image to view original)Margaret Hayes, City Librarian, says:"This new online service will provide people in Dublin and throughout the world with free and easy access to the rich collections of Dublin City Libraries and Archives. Indeed, we look forward to the public helping us by providing additional information on the people and places featured."Members of the public are invited to #explorehistory and enjoy this new resource free of charge, and the Digital Repository will be invaluable to local history and heritage groups, researchers and schools.Right: Despite defeat, there was a huge turn-out on the streets of Dublin for the defeated 1978 All-Ireland finalists. (click image to view original)The collection is divided into two separate 'communities', the 'Dublin City Archives Community' and the 'Dublin City Libraries Special Collections Community', each in turn which comprises various collections and, in some instances, sub-collections. See below for more on the separate communities.To uncover information on collections not yet digitized, explore www.dublincityarchives.ie and the Dublin and Irish Collections, or visit us in the Reading Room.Dublin City Archives CommunityDublin City Archives was founded in 1981. It holds the records of Dublin City Council and its predecessor bodies dating back to 1171, alongside the records of the Dublin City Archaelogical Archive, Irish Theatre Archive, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, Dublin City Sports Archive, and other private paper collections relating to Dublin City. The Digital Repository includes photographs and documents from these collections, which have been digitised and born-digital archives.Top-level Collections:Dublin City Archaelogical Archive - Records arising from archaeological investigations conducted in Dublin CityDublin City Assembly - Records relating to the civic government of Dublin from 1171-1840Dublin City Council (DCC) Collections - Records relating to activities of Dublin City Council from 1840-present dayDublin City Sports Archive - Dublin City Sports Archive collects photographs, documents and other records from local sports clubs, organisations, and sporting individuals which reflect Dublin's rich sporting heritage. Sports featured include hockey, golf, soccer.Dublin Civic Musuem - Photographs of the objects, artefacts and documents contained within the Dublin Civic Museum CollectionIrish Theatre Archive - The Irish Theatre Archive, contains collections deposited by theatres, theatre companies, individual actors, directors, costume and set designers, as well as theatre critics and fans. Collections can include theatre programs, handbills, posters, newspaper.Parliamentary Commissions - Records relating to Parliamentary Commissions established in Dublin.Private Collections - Private collections donated by individuals, organisations, businesses, voluntary groups which relate to Dublin City.Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive - The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association was established in 1996 to commemorate all Irish men and women who volunteered, served and died in the First World War 1914-1918 and earlier conflicts such as Boer War. The RDFA Archive is managed by Dublin City Archives.Size of the Dublin City Archives Community as of the 24th January 2017: 10,789 objectsDublin City Libraries Special Collections CommunityCollections:Birth of the Republic Collection - This collection is made up of Irish political ephemera and covers the period 1864 – 1942.Dixon Slides Collection - The original slides in this collection were donated to Dublin City Libraries by the photographer, Frederick E. Dixon. The photographs were taken in the 1960s and 1970s, and include book illustrations, postcards, advertisements and older photos of events around Dublin. The main focuses of the collection are Dublin city and its buildings.Dublin City Council Photographic Collection - This collection is an amalgam of photographs taken by City Council employees in the course of their work, including everything from civic events to street-cleaning. The bulk of the material dates from the 1980s and 1990s.Fáilte Ireland Tourism Photographic Collection - This collection contains photographs of places and people from all over Ireland, in particular well-known tourist sites. The photographs in this collection were created by the Irish Tourist authority, and donated to Dublin City Library and Archive. It includes material dating from as far back as the 1930s to almost up to the present day.Postcards and Views - This collection is made up of postcards from Dublin City Libraries' collection. The main emphasis is on postcards of Dublin from the 19th and early 20th century.The Lepracaun Cartoon Collection - Thomas Fitzpatrick's humorous publication The Lepracaun ran from 1905 to 1915. It provides a fascinating insight into the political and social issues of the time.Size of Dublin City Libraries Special Collections as of the 24th January 2017: 32,161 objects Copyright/UsageContent is being made available for the purposes of research and education and as an alternative to directly accessing the analogue originals. Please review our terms & conditions of use.Have a question regarding the Repository?Access http://digital.libraries.dublincity.ie/
Technology is an ever-changing form for the collection and communication of information. What happens, however, when the form of equipment is no longer the current practice of collecting information? What happens when the method is out dated and showing its age? At Dublin City Library and Archive, the staff work hard to preserve the documented history of Ireland even in its less prevalent forms. Numerous images were generously donated from Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority. These images came in many forms from positive printed images to film negatives and negative glass plate images (see image below). (Click images to view larger versions)To share this history and make it available to the public, many staff members and interns have been scanning and digitizing the images so that they may be archived and saved in a more convenient and accessible way.One facet of this archiving is scanning and digitizing the collection’s glass plate photographs. This area requires a certain amount of gentleness and care, more so than the other areas. Photographic plates were a common medium in photography before film. The process is similar to film in that a surface is covered in light sensitive emulsion; however, instead of a clear plastic film it covers glass plates. This emulsion is what absorbs light and creates the underlying image. Because the emulsion captures light the image is captured as a negative, so the light and dark areas are reversed; the darkest areas appear lightest and the lightest appear darkest. Glass plates are sturdier than film in that they are not likely to bend and distort an image. However, they are delicate in that they can shatter and break quite easily if not handled properly.ScanningFor the process of scanning the glass plate photographs, the equipment available to me was an Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner, and for what I needed it worked seamlessly. The most important feature in any scanner you use is the ability to remove the inner cover to reveal a built-in transparency unit. The scanner needs to be able to capture the light that goes through the glass plate to capture the image.The next step is to clean the glass flatbed of the scanner; any large particles or smudges could appear on the scanned image. These particles could also scratch and damage the glass plate.It is also necessary to clean the glass plates themselves. Depending on age and what conditions they have been kept in, they may have dirt and smudges on them that can affect the image quality. I started with a dust free brush and lightly dusted the glass and emulsion side of the glass plate. It is particularly import to be gentle with the emulsion side (the less shinny of the two sides) because this is what is holding the image to the glass plate. With the glass side of the plate I used a bit more pressure to clean the slide; I found that using a Q-tip or cotton bud and sometimes a little bit of moisture works wonders on cleaning light smudges of dirt.The next step was to very gently place the glass plate on the glass of the scanner with the emulsion side down; I found this technique worked best for me. I tried a few different techniques, such as using film holders and area guides to hold the glass plate away from the surface of the scanner. However, I found this made the scanned images much lower in detail and quality. I also experimented using Mylar (a thin plastic sheet) to protect the glass plate and glass flatbed from scratching each other; however, I found that this creates Newton’s rings (swirly lines that can appear when two transparent things are on top of one another). I found being gentle and cleaning both glass surfaces for dust particles would prevent any scratching of glass.Following these preparatory steps I finally began scanning the glass plate photographs. I used Adobe Photoshop to access my scanner settings and touch up the scanned image; under file and import I accessed my Epson V700 scanner settings. I used professional mode to access the settings where I can control document type, image type, and any adjustments I may need to make.These are the settings I used:Document Type: Film (with area guide)Film Type: B&W Negative FilmImage Type: 16-bit GrayscaleResolution: 1200 dpiUnsharp mask: Medium-HighGrain Reduction: Medium- HighThese settings provided the best results. However, the most important setting to have was having a film type or some setting that allowed for scanning something transparent. Resolution size depends more on what you want to do with your image. The larger the resolution the better the image quality but also means the bigger the file; the same rule applies for the size of the grayscale.The next steps involved a fair amount of trial and error with previewing the image, zooming in to the size of the image, and adjusting the image on the scanner to fix any slanting of the image. Finally, I finished the process with doing any touch ups the image may need in Photoshop. I tried to leave the image as close to its original form as possible. However, to see the image fully, sometimes certain areas need to be lightened, darkened, or given just a bit more contrast. Another problem with scanning glass plates is coming across a broken plate. I found that, with some handy Photoshop skills, the cracks can be edited to show the image in its original quality.The Finished ImageAbout our Guest BloggerThis article was written by Kelly Miner, an intern from St. Paul, Minnesota. Kelly came to Ireland as a part of the STINT Ireland Program to assist with digitizing and archiving glass plate photos from the Fáilte Ireland Collection at Dublin City Library and Archive.
The Picture of Dublin for 1811, being a description of the city, and a correct guide to all the public establishments, curiosities, amusements, exhibitions, and remarkable objects, in and near the city of Dublin. With a map of Dublin in the year 1610; a large map for 1811, and several views. On the same principle as The Picture of London.Dublin, printed for the proprietor, by J. and J. Carrick, Batchelor’s Walk; and sold at 41, Golden Lane; La Grange, Nassau Street; Gilbert and Hodges, and Dugdale, Dame Street; and all the booksellers. (Price six shillings British).This is the first edition of The Picture of Dublin, published in 1811. It does not name an editor or compiler, but the imprint states that it was printed for the proprietor, and sold at 41 Golden Lane. At this time 41 Golden Lane was the address of J. and W. Gregory, printers and booksellers. The dedication to the third edition, published in 1816, is signed by William Gregory, so he is likely to have been the compiler of the first edition.It was based on a similar guide to London, and it was aimed at visitors to the city. It went into several editions in the first half of the 19th century, with many different editors, see Dublin City’s online catalogue for other editions.Like a modern guide book this guide starts with a short history of Dublin, followed by a contemporary description of the city and its inhabitants. It describes the public buildings and other sites worth visiting and it is illustrated with engraved plates showing the Bank of Ireland, College Green, the newly built Custom House, Nelson’s Pillar, and the Grand Canal at Portobello Harbour. Nitty-gritty details for the visitor are also included: lists of hotels, stage coaches, public baths, banks, newspapers, etc. An index makes the guide user friendly for the tourist.One of the earliest maps of the city is that of John Speed, published in 1610, which is reproduced at the front of this volume. The map formed part of The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain, published in London in 1610. This gives an idea of the historical shape of the city. The modern map of 1811, folding into the back of the guide, shows the plan of the streets with the main sites marked.This guide allows the historical tourist to wander the streets of Dublin, admiring the many buildings, parks and statues, and experiencing the exhilaration of visiting a distant place: distant in time rather then space. Alternatively download The Picture of Dublin (PDF, 4.48MB) using Adobe Acrobat. Cannot access PDF?View images from The Picture of Dublin for 1811 on flickr