Following a Nationwide feature on the Irish Photo Archive, I was compelled to contact them to offer my services as a volunteer. The story of the organization and its dedication to presenting Irish history to the public through photographs is both inspiring and important. The archive, located on North Strand Road, is currently in the process of digitizing and publishing the Lensmen photographic collection.
The Lensmen Press and Public Relations Photographic Agency was originally set up in 1952 by two photographers, Andy Farren and Padraig MacBrian, who photographed street scenes, sporting events, weddings, communions, visits by famous figures to name a few. Their work presents a broad overview of Irish life. Today, the archive encompasses some three million negatives that chronicle the last sixty years in Irish history, have a look at their website here: http://www.lensmen.ie/
Images of all aspects of Irish life were carefully preserved and documented and today the Irish Photo Archive aims to digitize these photographs for online use. One recent example of the process was the discovery of never before seen images of the Rolling Stones at Dublin airport, which were exhibited in the airport and eventually published in a book.
This is a monumental task and one that requires constant scanning, editing and captioning of images. In order to bring this archive to the public, hard work must be carried out by a series of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. It is a very worthwhile project that has the potential to bring previously unheard stories within our nation’s history to life. Please get involved!
Check out their website at: http://www.irishphotoarchive.ie/