Belfast Archive Project digitizes old photographs of Ireland

Amanda Ferguson
30 May, 2016 01:00

PHOTOGRAPHS of Ireland from the 1800s to present day are being digitized by the Belfast Archive Project (BAP) following a £40,000 financial boost.

The small but dedicated team of four volunteers behind the Red Barn Gallery in Rosemary Street have moved from their city centre base to Conway Mill in west Belfast after receiving grant funding from the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund.

Now branded as the Belfast Archive Project, its director Frankie Quinn and three others will make safe the celluloid classics of the main contributors: Buzz Logan, Bill Kirk, John White, Hugh McKeown, Gerry Collins, and many others.

Mr Quinn explained the funding it received has paid for new equipment and rent at Conway Mill.

The 150,000 island-wide images the team is working through date back to shots of Co Kerry and Clare Island, Co Mayo, from the 1800s to various sights and scenes of Belfast street life and beyond.

Among images captured include scenes depicting the outbreak of the Troubles with British soldiers in Bombay Street in west Belfast through to protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Another image captures football fans scaling the famous 'cage' at Cliftonville's old ground.

Th images will all eventually be available to view online.

"We have accumulated images from a range of amateur and professional photographers so we are digitizing the negatives and making them safe," Mr Quinn said.

"We have 150,000 images to work on. We are ready to rock."

Mr Quinn is appealing to the public to contact BAP with any old pictures that could enhance the collection.

"We are always open to people to bring photographs in, shoe box collections, anything dealing with the history of the city and its people we find interesting," he said.

The Red Barn Gallery in Rosemary Street is now called Artcetera and is operating as a visual art space.

:: For more about BAP at Conway Mill visit

30 May, 2016 01:00 News