Sunday 22 October 2017

From empire to Free State, old Ireland goes online

Cork during the War of Independence
Cork during the War of Independence
Miriana Rendulic in period costume at the launch
Women on Grafton Street around 1900
The Custom House under attack in 1921
Times may have changed but many traditions haven't
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

FROM the lords of the manor to the soldiers of war, intimate photos depicting their lives in Ireland have been launched online as part of the Google Cultural Institute.

A unique collaboration between Google and the National Library of Ireland – the first of its kind in this country – now allows hundreds of historical photographs from three different exhibitions to be viewed online.

The collections – 'Dubliners: The photographs of JJ Clarke', 'Witness to War' and 'Power and Privilege: the Big Houses in Ireland' – represent almost every tier of Irish society in the early decades of the 20th Century.

One of the images in 'Witness to War' depicts parts of 1920 Cork city in rubble after being attacked by the Black and Tans.

An intimate image from 'Power and Privilege' depicts a double christening at Sion Lodge, home of the Smyth family of Waterford. This snippet of their life could easily be mistaken for a scene from 'Downton Abbey' as the family sit dressed in luxurious clothes accompanied by their household staff and a clergyman.

The National Library is the first Irish cultural institute to partner with Google in this initiative.

Director Fiona Ross said they were "absolutely delighted" to be part of the project.

The collection of 187 images can be viewed online for free, at www.google.com/ culturalinstitute/collection/ national-library-of-ireland

Irish Independent

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