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We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to our museums.  We may look a little different, but we still feel the same.  We’re starting to reopen our museums beginning with the Ulster Museum on 30 July.

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Photographs

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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

24203 items found.
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If no image shows this may be due to copyright restrictions. Please contact picture.library@nmni.com who will be happy to help.
Industry ( Transport ) Antrim Red Bay Ferry

Industry ( Transport ) Antrim Red Bay Ferry

View of the Red Bay ferry ship leaving harbour the east coast of Co. Antrim...

Photographic Pint and film negative

Photographic Pint and film negative

One of collection of images of Ulster mill villages related to Phd research by Dennis MacNiece, later Director of the Ulster American Folk Park in Oma...

Opening of B.K.S. Air Transport Service

Opening of B.K.S. Air Transport Service

A man and a woman standing talking...

Anny Lewinter Factory N Ards

Anny Lewinter Factory N Ards

Show room of Anny Lewinter Factory featuring knitted sportwear...

Funeral of R.J.F

Funeral of R.J.F

view of draped coffin on gun carriage being borne by funeral party through camp with lines of uniformed onlookers...

Travel Exhibition

Travel Exhibition

Two people sitting on aircraft seats at the B.K.S. Airlines stand...

Cushendun

Cushendun

A view of Cushendun village from the air...

Industry Hotels City Londonderry Dinning Room

Industry Hotels City Londonderry Dinning Room

A view of the dinning room of the City Hotel Londonderry...

Photographic Print

Photographic Print

Subject : portrait; three men seated...

Opening of B.K.S. Air Transport Service

Opening of B.K.S. Air Transport Service

A group of officials and a member of the air crew leaving the air craft...

Carte-de-visite

Carte-de-visite

Carte-de-visite portrait of unnamed gentleman; in Coey album...

Horse Jumping at Children's Gymkhana Belfast

Horse Jumping at Children's Gymkhana Belfast

A horse and a rider jumping over a fence...

Carte-de-visite

Carte-de-visite

Carte-de-visite portrait of John Shelley; in Coey album...

Dunlin Show

Dunlin Show

A view of the N.I.T.B. Stand at the Dunlin Show...

The Gobbins Cliffs and Caves

The Gobbins Cliffs and Caves

Article on the Gobbins and Island Magee by R. J. Welch, reprinted from The Irish Naturalist Vol XI, illustrated with photographs by Welch and drawings...

Fred Daly

Fred Daly

Four views of the famous golfer Fred Daly...

stereoscopic view

stereoscopic view

Stereoscopic view of Carrick-a-rede rope bridge no9576; Griffith's series of 1903...

National Youth Brass Band at Belfast

National Youth Brass Band at Belfast

A large brass band playing in a hall...

Soap Box Derby Bangor

Soap Box Derby Bangor

Soap box racing with crowd in the background...

Belfast Girl Singers Irish Dancers

Belfast Girl Singers Irish Dancers

View of six girls taking part in Irish dancing...

Industry ( Agriculture ) Coleraine Cranagh Farm View Towards Portstewart

Industry ( Agriculture ) Coleraine Cranagh Farm View Towards Portstewart

View of a field showing small hay stacks on Cranagh Farm...

PHOTOGRAPH; Carte-de-visite

PHOTOGRAPH; Carte-de-visite

Subject : portrait of a lady...

National Institute of Journalist's

National Institute of Journalist's

Two men and two women journalist's...

Photographic Print

Photographic Print

view of Golders Green with pond and duck house and island...

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