Wednesday, February 20, 2013

O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, 1950s - Ritchie/Pickow Archive

This wonderful image of a crowded O'Connell Bridge in Dublin is part of the Ritchie-Pickow photographic archive at the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. The image dates to the early 1950's and is a clear scene of a bright morning on Dublin's busy main thoroughfare.

Jean Ritchie, singer, folklorist and dulcimer player was born on 8 December 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of a family of 14 children, known as .The Singing Ritchies. Jean graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1946 and taught for a time. In 1952 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to enable her to research the origins of her family's songs in Great Britain and Ireland. Her husband George Pickow, a photographer, accompanied her and they spent approximately eighteen months recording folk songs and traditional musicians and taking photographs. The photographs include photographs of many well-known uileann pipe players, for example Seamus Ennis, Michael Reagh, the McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; vocalists, including Elizabeth Croinin, Sarah Makem and Mary Toner and story tellers, such as Patcheen Faherty from the Aran Islands.

As well as assisting his wife in her research George Pickow also used the opportunity to do features on aspects of Irish life, Christmas celebrations with straw boys and wren boys, life on the Aran Islands, Dublin scenes, the American Ambassador and his family in Ireland, the story of St Patrick, the development of Dublin Airport, operations of the Garda Síochána at Dublin Castle, and Irish sporting activities, such as road bowling, hurling, coursing, hunting and racing. Photographs were also taken of traditional Irish crafts, for example spinning, weaving, thatching and crios and sliotar making. In a video recording made with George and Jean Pickow in the early 1990s regarding their visits to Ireland, George says that these photographic stories were for the Sunday News  in New York.

The photographic archive is comprised of one hundred and sixty seven sheets of black and white contact prints with corresponding negatives, numbering one thousand eight hundred and eighty seven photographs in total. The majority of the photographs were taken using Kodak safety film and these negatives are unfortunately not numbered so the sequence cannot be followed. The last ten sheets of photographs were taken using Eastman 5 6 super xx safety film and Ilford hypersensitive panchromatic film, these negatives are numbered. There are also one hundred and ninety prints in two sizes, 19x19 cms and 27x27 cms, of which ninety five are mounted.

To see more images from the Ritchie-Pickow Archive click here

Visit the home page of James Hardiman Library Archives at NUI Galway here


Monday, February 18, 2013

The Value of Archives for Doctoral Research

 Information meeting for potential doctoral students in the Humanities and Social Sciences

‘The Value of Archives for Doctoral Research'

A series of short presentations by academics and archivists on archive collections pertaining to the following areas:

· History

· Gaeilge

· English

· Irish Studies

· Film and Digital Media

· Sociology and Political Science

Venue - Moore Institute Seminar Room
Time - 2pm
Date: 20 February 2013

All students thinking of doctoral research are strongly advised to attend.
All welcome


An Archives Group initiative

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Killeany Village, Aranmore, c.1894

This image taken by Robert Welch is part of the wonderful Balfour album which is housed here at the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. Part of our digital collection, the images form an online exhibition that allows an insight into life and people of the West of Ireland in the late 19th Century.

This image is of a family pictured on a corner of Killeany Village, Aranmore. Also visible is a collection of neatly thatched stone built cottages, some of which are whitewashed. Two children sit on the wall while a man stands outside the gate. A woman is visible in front of the door way of the cottage.

If anyone knows the area today and how it looks compared to how it did in c.1894 or perhaps be able to identify the people pictured we would love to hear from you.

Click here to enlarge
To view the Balfour album in full click here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Digital Humanities Awards - Nominated

We here at the Archives service of the James Hardiman Library are delighted to inform all our readers and followers that our blog has been nominated in the category of 'Best DH blog, article, or short publication.' at the Digital Humanities Awards.

"Digital Humanities Awards are a new set of annual awards given in recognition of talent and expertise in the digital humanities community and are nominated and voted for entirely by the public."

You can vote for NUIG Archives blog here:

Voting is now open and will close on 17th February. Your support and vote in this would be greatly appreciated! Please support our Library and it's Archives Service and help promote ongoing scholarship and discovery through these unique archival collections.