This thematic book, based on Irish photographs 1891-1920, focuses on the importance of visual resources to scholars of Ireland. Some of the images belong to the Tuke collection held at the National Photographic Archive, Dublin but the majority of the images used in this volume stem from the extensive collections of Belfast-based photographer, Robert J. Welch. His professional career spanned almost sixty years and being a careful observer of all aspects of life inevitably his work carries a wealth of previously underused historical data. Prolific as he was, his images have been dispersed worldwide so this work endeavours to reunite the various strands of Welch’s interests. To this end three of the contributors Dr Vivienne Pollock, Ulster Museum, Marie Boran, Special Collections Librarian, NUI Galway (NUIG) and Maggie Burns, Librarian, Birmingham Central Library will account the provenance and nature of the Welch material held at their respective repositories. Sara Smyth, National Photographic Archive, Dublin, focuses on the Tuke collection held in Dublin, while Dr Gail Baylis, University of Ulster, Coleraine, critically assesses the relationship between the photographer, lens and subject. Dr Justin Carville, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, will describe the significance of Welch’s contribution to colonial photography.
About the Editor
Ciara Breathnach is lecturer in history at the University of Limerick. She has published on Irish socio-economic, cultural and health histories.
Dr Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh (Victoria University, Wellington), Dr Ciara Breathnach (UL), Dr Anne O Dowd (National Museum of Ireland), Dr Mary Clancy (NUIG), Dr Jonathan Bell and Dr Mervyn Watson (Ulster Folk and Transport Museum), Lorna Moloney (NUIG) and Ciaran Walsh (Siamsa Tíre, Tralee) explore more specific themes like the impact of professionals on rural life, housing, dress, women’s work, agriculture, regional differences and the notion of Welch as an ethnographer.