Lensmen and the digitisation of a life's work
Lensmen have licensed the Irish Photo Archive to digitise and preserve Lensmen's extensive collection, which was begun by Andy Farren and Padraig MacBrian in 1952. Last year, the task of digitising the collection began – up until then, the archive had been relatively untouched.
The hope is that more than 60 years of work and 60 years of Irish life will be made accessible to everyone through the website www.irishphotoarchive.ie and that this vast, historically important collection will be preserved for generations to come.
To that end, the Irish Photo Archive has been steadily scanning and uploading digital images from the archive to the website.
A wide variety of organisations have displayed an interest in the archive's work and images from the archive have featured in a number of newspapers, books and television productions.
The archive has also received innumerable requests from the general public looking for images of relatives, sporting events or other events and places of a sentimental value or even enthusiasts looking for images of old cars and trains or famous Irish sporting teams.
Researchers are always happy to delve into the archive in response to these queries.
At present, approximately 40,000 of the estimated 3.5-4 million images have been digitised. From these, the archive creates its line of high-quality prints, although any image in the archive may be printed on request.
The Irish Photo Archive is especially pleased to be in possession of a series of images from the visit of John F Kennedy to Ireland in 1963.
These cover a number of the events that occurred during the visit, such as the trip to Dunganstown to meet his relatives, his cavalcade through Dublin and many more. All of these images can be viewed on the website and prints are available for purchase, both in Ireland and internationally.
The work required for creating and maintaining the archive is relentless and truly vast.
The small, tightly knit team is dedicated to bringing the project to fruition and preserving this tremendous historic resource.