Photographs

Photographs

Photographs

National Museums NI holds a wide range of historic photographs—almost 500,000 topographical, portrait and record images. Most are in black and white and kept in print and negative format. The collection dates from around 1870 and mostly relates to the northern parts of Ireland. Other regions are also covered, especially the west. They describe:

  • commercial and social life
  • industrial and economic activity
  • street scenes and townscapes
  • land, sea, air, and road transport
  • political and social events

Signature collections include:

  • The natural history photography, and The Harland and Wolff Collection of shipyard photographs, taken by RJ Welch (1859—1936)
  • W.A. Green (1870—1958) photography of rural industry
  • The social realism of A.R. Hogg (1870—1939)
  • Photographs taken by the Ulster Tourist Development Association, and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, between 1940 and 1980.
  • The Dundee Collection, chronicling farm life in Sentry Hill, County Antrim.
  • The Hackney Collection, charting the recruitment and training of the 36th Ulster Division in the First World War, and their journey to the Battle of the Somme and beyond.

Other important collections include the work of:

  • Cecil Newman, describing local urban and road development in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Bob Martin, a shipyard worker 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 Blitz, 1941, and the work of local home defence agencies.
  • The Browne collection of photographs relating to civil engineering projects post 1945
  • The Glass Album relating to the Land War in Gweedore, County Donegal, in the 1880s.
  • The Douglas Sobey Collection relating to the LGBT movement in Northern Ireland in the 1970s
  • Photojournalism from 1970 by Martin Nangle, Bill Kirk and Frankie Quinn

The museum maintains a large collection of lantern slides—for use in magic lanterns, a 19th century forerunner of the slide projector—depicting social, economic, and industrial life in Ireland in the late 1800s and 1900s. We also hold a large photographic archive which includes copies of major collections held elsewhere, such as the Annesly, Young, and Langham collections.

The photographic collections also chart the development of photography itself. Our oldest photographs are daguerreotypes and calotypes from the dawn of the medium. We hold a collection of cameras, magic lanterns, and photographic equipment, dating from the 1850s onwards.

Searchable list of collections

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photographic film negative

photographic film negative

subject : Fishing boat crew bringing herring nets from hold. [shooting train]. date : mid 1920s;condition : good....

ROSTREVOR

ROSTREVOR

a view of the square with a public house to the right and two Churches in the middle, there are people and horse vehicles, one in the foreground with ...

Photograph

Photograph

Shell making, trimming the driving band and testing its diameter....

Photograph; glass plate negative

Photograph; glass plate negative

Photograph, Harland and Wolff glass plate negative. subject : Shell plating starboard propeller shaft and bossing. Ship No: 317. Name: Oceanic. Type: ...

Photograph

Photograph

Ship Margarita in docks....

QUEEN'S ISLAND SHIPYARD, BELFAST

QUEEN'S ISLAND SHIPYARD, BELFAST

a view of the Titanic and Olympic 1910, in stocks together in the Shipyard...

Photographic Print

Photographic Print

subject : view of yew terraces at the Viceregal Lodge;part of a group of prints of similar type, some of which are annotated by Welch. Condition : goo...

BELFAST CASTLE AND McArt's FORT

BELFAST CASTLE AND McArt's FORT

a close in view of the Castle, looking up with the view of Cavehill behind...

Photographic negative : photographic print

Photographic negative : photographic print

High Cross in Clones Diamond with children sitting around base....

Photograph

Photograph

James Armstrong's, plucking chickens....

photographic negative

photographic negative

subject : Greeves Forth Spinnings Mill. Interior....

photographic negative

photographic negative

subject : Belfast Electric Station (Sub Station). Interior. Rectifiers...

Leap Bridge Omagh

Leap Bridge Omagh

A view of the salmon leap stone bridge...

photographic negative

photographic negative

subject : Ulster Bank....

Photograph

Photograph

subject : View of City Hall;Condition : good...

Photograph

Photograph

Enniskillen, Lough Erne. Aerial Photograph....

PHOTOGRAPH; Lantern slide

PHOTOGRAPH; Lantern slide

subject : view down stret to Albert Memorial, caption 'Victoria Street replaces very old houses removed under Act of 1845'...

photographic negative

photographic negative

subject : Water Commissioner's Yard....

Photographic Print

Photographic Print

subject : view of smoothing room in Robinson and Cleaver's Linen Factory, showing rows of girls sewing at machine;albumen print. Condition : good...

Antrim Derriaghy Mc Gredy's Rose Garden

Antrim Derriaghy Mc Gredy's Rose Garden

A view across the bed of roses...

photographic negative

photographic negative

subject : Castle Buildings, nos. 10-18. Interior....

PHOTOGRAPH; Lantern slide

PHOTOGRAPH; Lantern slide

subject : wall and window of Movilla Abbey, founded by St Finian, 540 A.D., from slide series entitled 'The Celtic Church in Ireland';condition : good...

THE SHIMNA AT NEWCASTLE

THE SHIMNA AT NEWCASTLE

a view of the river with buildings in the far distance...

Photograph; glass plate negative

Photograph; glass plate negative

Photograph, Harland and Wolff glass plate negative. subject : Port near profile of completed ship in Belfast Lough. Ship No: 367. Name: Aragon. Type: ...

Carte de Visite

Carte de Visite

Subject : portrait; studio portrait of young girl with book...

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