DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
1 December 2010
Flicking through the past makes history on ‘Flickr’
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) made history today by making photographic collections available via social networking.
PRONI is the first Northern Ireland heritage institution to make such collections available on Flickr. Over fifty years of wedding and family portraits, taken between 1900 and 1952, have been brought back to life and made available online, using the photo-sharing website
Speaking today about the new resource, Aileen McClintock, Director of PRONI said: “This is a tremendous resource for anybody interested in local history, genealogy and even the changing fashions in bridal wear. These photographs are particularly culturally rich for those who have family connections in County Armagh and South Down and also in County Monaghan in the Irish Republic.”
The photos are being transferred from fragile glass plate negatives which were commonly used by photographers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, prior to the advent of photographic film.
Aileen commented: “It is a further milestone in this digital age to see that images created using such old technology can be revived in a totally new format and be made available to anybody at home through the click of a mouse.”
To date around 200 digital images have been made available, with more being added over the coming weeks until all 1,530 images are posted on the site. Visitors to the website will be able to browse through the images alphabetically, by family surname.
The online images are the product of a year-long project undertaken by PRONI to arrange, list, re-box and digitise the original glass plate negatives. This will enhance the collection of key resources which PRONI has already made available online, including street directories and wills indexes.
The online services strive to ensure that those researching local or family history during the PRONI move to new accommodation at Titanic Quarter still have rich sources, literally, ‘at their fingertips’.
Visit www.proni.gov.uk/pronionflickr to view the photographs.
The Taylor family from Hockley, County Armagh, taken on 13th August 1908
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