Lensmen Press and Public Relations Photographic Agency was set up in 1952 by Andy Farren and Padraig MacBrian and over the years they built an archive of over 3.5 million negatives. The sixty + years of Irish history captured there includes many fascinating images of key events: Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Princess Grace, Muhammad Ali and John F. Kennedy all visited, many Presidents were inaugurated and many Football and Hurling finals were won and lost. Susan says: ‘What I feel makes it even more valuable, historically speaking, are the images of day-to-day Irish life - street scenes, dog shows, weddings, communions, office presentations and family portraits’.
In 2012 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 will be made accessible to everyone through the website www.irishphotoarchive.ie and this vast, historically important collection will be preserved for generations to come.
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 – www.irishphotoarchive.ie
If there is a specific event or image that you are looking for and think we might have, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Others: Framed images are best collected as posting glass has proved difficult. However we will post if required. Fine Art Prints come with Certificate of Authenticity & Embossed Stamp
- Evaluations of Irish Photo Archive:
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