Irish Photo Archive
Dive into the history of Dublin and beyond with the Irish Photo Archive. Lensmen Press and Public Relations Photographic Agency was set up in 1952 by Andy Farren and Padraig MacBrian and over the years they built up an archive of over 3,5 million negatives. It covers historical events such as visits of President John F. Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco as well as every day life of Ireland.
The Irish Photo Archive was set up to preserve and digitize this cultural resource so that the collection can be made accessible worldwide.
Last year the significant task of digitising the collection began, up until then the archive had been relatively untouched. The hope is that over sixty years of work and sixty years of Irish life.
A typical day consists of scanning negatives – there are approximately 3.5 million in the archive so it’s a huge project. All the negatives from the 1950s are glass, the 60s, 70s and a significant chunk of the 80s are black and white and after that colour predominates. If we’re not scanning negatives we are editing, captioning and ‘cleaning’ them (which means photoshopping out dust or scratches) then uploading them to our website. We also deal on a daily basis with queries from the public looking for images of relatives, newspapers (both national and international) looking for images to accompany stories, publishers who need images to illustrate books, many curators of photographic exhibitions and people simply ordering images they have found through the website.