The Photo Album of Ireland

Your Photographs - Your Memories - Our Memories
  July –
August 2014

© Shanahan Family

Photo albums give a fascinating insight into our private histories. They can often reveal details about how people lived and worked that official historical records simply overlook. In a ground-breaking initiative developed by The Gallery of Photography, the Photo Album of Ireland project is digitising and sharing cherished family photographs and private photo collections. This emerging, democratic archive provides an accessible record of our rich photographic social history. It is a celebration of ordinary life as viewed from the perspective of private individuals.

This is the first presentation of the Photo Album of Ireland project. It focuses on the role photography plays in constructing and commemorating our histories. The exhibition invites you to explore the wealth of ordinary and extraordinary photographs – from informal snapshots, studio portraits and ‘official’ photographs through to substantial individual archives – many shown here to the public for the first time. Spanning the entire history of analogue photography, it includes rare ambrotypes and dageurreotypes from the 1850s, Victorian cartes-de-visites, box brownie photographs, family albums, colour instamatic snapshots, polaroids and photobooth selfies from the 1980s.

A cross-section of over 30 individuals and families from all over Ireland have contributed to date. The archive will continue to develop. You can follow our ongoing research on the project website: and through the series of programmed events, exhibitions and outdoor projections around Ireland.

Touring partners: Monaghan Council Heritage & Arts Office, The Hunt Museum, Limerick 
and Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh.

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The Photo Album of Ireland is funded by an Arts Council Touring Award, Gallery of Photography and Monaghan Council Council.
Part of the Photoireland Festival 2014. www,

Visit the project website:

"The photo album of Ireland" exhibition held at the Gallery of Photography in 2009.

“The photo album of Ireland” exhibition held at the Gallery of Photography in 2009.