|Clare County Library|
Clare County Library Photographic Archive
|Information about our Collections|
Archaeological Monuments of Clare Collection
A collection of photographs of the archaeological monuments of Clare, given to Clare County Library by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The photographs cover the principal categories of archaeological remains in the county which include Cairns, Holy Wells, Megalithic Tombs, Portal-tombs, Wedge-tombs and Unclassified Tombs.
Bluett Collection of photographic slides depict life in Clare in the
1940s, 50s and 60s. Most of the photographs were taken in Ennis showing
weddings, parades, processions, sports events and everyday life. There
are also many images of the developing Shannon Airport, trips to the
seaside, and trips abroad. The photographs were taken by Bill Bluett,
a Limerickman who moved to Ennis in 1931. Bill Bluett used a second-hand
Leica which he had acquired from Germany in 1945, through a TWA flight
steward who exchanged cartons of cigarettes for the camera. The collection
was presented to Clare County Library by Bill's son, Liam, in 1994
The Butler–Graham Collection is part of a family archive of photographs depicting members of the Butler, Graham and Massey families from the 1860s to 1950. The Butlers were owners of Castle Crine, Sixmilebridge. Sophia Butler nee Irvine married James Butler of Castle Crine and had three daughters, one of whom married Edward Massey, Lord Clarina. After James’ death, Sophia married Colonel J.H. Graham and had another four children. These, and the descendants of one of Sophia’s sons, Eddie Graham, are depicted in this collection. Many of the photographs are carte de visite and cabinet cards. The family socialised, travelled and worked all over the globe and the collection reflects this. The collection was bought in the 1970s by Ian Crawshaw in his hometown of Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Over the years he gathered information on the people in the photographs and has now kindly donated the collection to Clare County Library.
Canon Philip Dwyer Collection
Canon Philip Dwyer was born on the 2nd of August, 1822 to John Dwyer, barrister and Commissioner for Lunacy and Elizabeth Doyne. Philip grew up in Dublin on Merrion Square.1
Philip Dwyer entered Trinity College in 1839 aged 17, graduating with a degree in Theology in 1844 and was ordained deacon in 1845 and priest in 1846. As a young clergyman Philip Dwyer arrived in Clare to witness the years of the Great Famine. He is situated in the diocese of Killaloe in the parish of Dunkerrin from 1845 to 1851 and promoted to Prebend in the parish of Tullock in 1851, remaining there until 1864.
Canon Philip Dwyer, served as Church of Ireland vicar of Drumcliffe parish (Ennis) from 1864 until 1883. He initiated the building of the new St. Columba's Church in 1871 and gained the reputation as the 'historian of Clare' having published six books on county Clare including A handbook to Lisdoonvarna and its vicinity, with map and woodcuts, 1876 and The Diocese of Killaloe, From the Reformation to the Close of the Eighteenth Century, 1878.
In 1883, Philip Dwyer resigned his position and left Ennis, with his entire family, for British Columbia. From August 1883 to September 1884 the Canon was attached to Christchurch Cathedral in Victoria and in 1885 he was living in Chemainus, Vancouver Island, in charge of the Chemainus and Saltspring Mission. Canon Dwyer returned to England in 1887 and remained there until his death in 1905.
The Canon Philip Dwyer collection contains correspondence between the family of Canon Dwyer’s wife, Anne Sather Crowe; his daughters, son-in-law and grand-daughters to his son, William and his wife, Molly. William had remained in Canada following the departure of his father, mother and sisters from Canada in 1887, and subsequently married Mary ‘Molly’ Lomas from Quamichan, British Columbia, Canada in 1903. The letters give a vivid portrait of family life during this period through letters we see the sadness of emigration, the changing role of women in society and the effects of war upon a family over several generations. The collection also contains the genealogical research carried out by various Dwyer decendants, newspaper cuttings, photographs, civil registrations, letters and research over several decades and gives a wonderful insight into the history of the family.
The donation of the correspondence and papers of Canon Philip Dwyer was made through the work of Professor Deirdre Hunt, the great-great grand daughter of Canon Dwyer. The letters were scattered in Ireland, England and Canada.
1 Hunt, Deirdre, Professor. Canon Philip Dwyer, Dwyer Clan Journal, September 2006. Pg 30-42.
Clare Railways Collection
The Clare Railways Collection consists of over 300 photographs, mainly of the West Clare Railway. The WCR was a narrow gauge railway built between 1884 and 1887 and serving Ennis, Corofin, Ennistymon, Lahinch and Miltown Malbay. An extension to the line, the South Clare Railway, was built between 1890 and 1892 and served Quilty, Kilmurry, Doonbeg and Moyasta Junction. At Moyasta the line divided into branches. One ran west to Kilkee and the other to Kilrush and Cappagh Pier. The WRC ran until 31 January 1961. The majority of the photographs of the WRC in this collection were taken by Mr Leslie Hyland for the Irish Railway Record Society. The collection also includes a number of photographs by Herbert Richards of the Limerick and Sligo Branch of the Great Southern and Western Railway. We are grateful to Mr Hyland, Mr Richards and the Irish Railway Record Society for permission to use these photographs.
Florida residents Roger and Sue Diel have been visiting County Clare for many years and Roger is the author of two works of fiction based on the county. Their interest in the castles and tower houses of County Clare is reflected in this collection of images, as well as abbeys and churches, the landscapes of the Burren and the coastline, and the streetscapes of Clare's villages and towns. The Diels have generously donated this collection to the library.
Ennis Committee for Travelling People Collection
The Ennis Committee for Travelling People was established
in 1967 and disbanded in 2007 and comprised of local settled people
living in the Ennis area. The committee was set up to improve the conditions
of Travellers in Co. Clare in general, but particularly in Ennis, and
set itself three goals in order to achieve its objective: settlement,
education and employment. Up to the recent past, Travellers were living
in atrocious conditions on the roadside without running water for cooking,
cleaning and toilet facilities. The conditions of the Travelling People
have indeed improved over this time and continue to get better in terms
of accommodation, education, health and equal opportunity, and this
is evident in this collection of photographs. Much legislation is now
in place in favour of Traveller inclusion in Irish society, and many
Travellers themselves are taking the lead to ensure that this legislation
Franciscan Friary Ennis, Collection
In 1239, Donough O’Brien, King of Thomond, invited the Franciscans to establish themselves in Ennis, offering to build a church and dwelling place for them. Their arrival coincided with the establishment of the town of Ennis, where they have made a lasting contribution to many aspects of the life of the town. The Franciscan Friary Ennis Collection of photographs spans over a century and highlights the buildings, activities and personalities of the Ennis Franciscans. Clare County Library is grateful to the Ennis Friars for kindly lending the collection for digitising, and particularly to Brother Cathal Duddy who instigated the project and liased with the library.
Graveyard Inscriptions Collection
This collection consists of photographs of headstones from various graveyards which were submitted to the Donated Transcriptions section of the website. The inscriptions are searchable by graveyard or by personal name, e.g. a search for McMahon will call up all McMahon headstones in the collection. The graveyards covered in the collection are:
Irish Tourist Association Survey
The ITA Survey photographs were taken to accompany the ITA Topographical and General Survey of 1943. The Survey was carried out by the ITA, a forerunner of Fáilte Ireland, to identify tourist attractions of an historical and archaeological nature and assess tourist amenities throughout the country. The photographs concentrate on historical buildings and landscapes.
Killaloe Heritage Centre Collection
The Killaloe Heritage Centre Collection was assembled when research was being carried out to set up the Killaloe Heritage Centre in the early 1990s, and donated to Clare County Library in 1998. Photographs and postcards were borrowed from local people in the Killaloe area, copied, and the originals returned to their owners. Details of the people and places depicted were carefully noted. The collection covers many individuals, families, businesses, social and sporting events in the area. The navigation of the Shannon River and Lough Derg, and the building of the Shannon Hydro-Electric Scheme are particularly well covered.
Krieger Burren Flora Collection
Carsten Kreiger is a freelance photographer specializing in nature and landscape photography. His main themes are the flora and the habitats of his chosen home in Co. Clare. Carsten’s website is at http://www.carstenkrieger.co.uk/. His collection of Burren flora images was purchased by Clare County Library in 2003. Permission to use the text which accompanies these images was kindly provided by Shannon Development. The botanical details were written by Dr. E. Charles Nelson, an authority on Burren flora and author of several botanical books relating to the region. Clare County Library is grateful to both Shannon Development and Dr Nelson for their generosity and assistance.
The Lawrence Collection consists of 40,000 glass plate negatives from 1880 to 1914 which are held by the National Library of Ireland's National Photographic Archive. The images were produced commercially, the majority of them being taken by Robert French. The original images were captured on large glass plate negatives and incorporate details which become apparent when parts of images are enlarged as we have done with a selection included here. Each enlargement is included after the original image from which it was taken.
Dr. George Unthank Macnamara (1849-1919) of Baunkyle, Corofin was a keen antiquarian and photographer who served as a medical doctor in the Corofin area. He worked closely with his friend, the antiquarian and historian, Thomas Johnson Westropp. George became a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in 1894 and was elected Fellow and Vice-President of the Society 1917. In 1894, George is renowned to have had the previously disappeared Tau Cross recovered and reinstated into its original socket, at his own personal expense.
The Macnamara Collection presented online here is a combination of photographs donated to Clare County Library by Dr. D. W. MacNamara of Corofin in 1941 and a collection of glass plate negatives which, by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. George Macnamara, Baunkyle House and the Macnamara family, was digitised in a preservation project by Clare County Archives in 2010. The digitisation was carried out by Davidson & Associates, Dublin and the project was funded by the Heritage Council and Clare County Council.
The collection contains family portraits of the Macnamara family and other local families and images of social and archaeological features of late 19th and early 20th century Clare and other Irish locations. Also included are some images of India where George’s brothers Lieutenant Colonel John William Unthank and Lieutenant Robert Joseph served in the Indian and Bengal Medical Services during the years 1879-1908.
Ennis & District
Anglers Association Collection
Ennistymon Inside Out, 1988
From Foynes to Shannon
Graham McMahon Collection
Hedderman Carrigaholt Collection
Hennessy Mid-Clare Brigade Collection
Joseph V McNamara Collection
Michael Thompson Collection
Pasquello Russell Memorial Weekend Collection
Murphy Hynes Kilkee Collection
This collection of photographs and postcards depicts the resort town of Kilkee over the course of the 20th Century. The images portray the people of the town and its visitors and changes in the town itself. The images are the result of years of collecting and photographing by two individuals, author Father Ignatius Murphy and Mary T. Hynes, who was the branch librarian in the Sweeney Memorial Library in Kilkee for many years. Both had a life-long interest in the history and people of Kilkee. The collection was kindly donated to Clare County Library by Fr Murphy’s brother, Gay and his wife, Rhonda.
National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) Collection
This architectural survey, undertaken between 1992 and 1999 for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, is a representative sample of structures of interest which illustrate the history and development of building in County Clare. It documents both the extraordinary and the commonplace buildings that exist throughout the county. This beautiful collection of photographs, taken in 2008, was kindly donated to Clare County Library by the NIAH, with permission to use text from its publication 'An introduction to the architectural heritage of County Clare' (2009) to accompany the photographs. The publication was written by Jane Fenlon and edited by Willy Cumming. The photographs were taken by Shannon Images. The original survey was carried out by Mairín Doddy, Colm Murray and Gerry Browner.
O'Callaghan Westropp Collection
The O’Callaghan-Westropp Collection comprises photographs of
the O’Callaghan-Westropp family of Lismehane House, O’Callaghan’s
Mills, Co. Clare. The photographs cover the period from 1917 to 1923
and are mainly photographs of the family of Colonel George O’Callaghan-Westropp,
his wife, Henrietta and their children Rosemary and Conor. Most of the
photographs were taken in the grounds of Lismehane House, which was
known as Maryfort House for a time. The original name of Lismehane House
was reverted to in 1912. In addition to family photographs, there are
a number of very interesting photographs of Doolin and Achill, where
the family holidayed, horse races and strawboys at Lismehane, and military
activity during the War of Independence. There is also a fascinating
set of photographs taken at Moyriesk House in September, 1923, the day
after the lady of the house, Mrs Geraldine Crowe (nee Foster-Vesey-Fitzgerald),
had been kidnapped by armed men. Mrs Crowe was seized, according to
the Saturday Record, “in connection with the unlawful grazing
of her land, off which, it is stated, some cattle were recently seized
by the authorities and sent to Dublin to be sold.” The Clare Champion
stated the Mrs Crowe refused to sign a cheque to cover the cost of the
cattle. The 74 year old Mrs Crowe was held for seven days before being
|Old Ennistymon Society
The Old Ennistymon Society began collecting images for a major photographic exhibition to commemorate its 21st anniversary in 2013. The exhibition, entitled “Ennistymon: Vanishing Heritage”, was developed by Frances Madigan, Kathryn Comber and Anthony Edwards of the society, and was intended to celebrate the rich architectural, economic and social heritage of Ennistymon. The photographs date from the early part of the 20th Century and capture a long-forgotten age. The society is the voluntary organisation responsible for the preservation of Ennistymon Courthouse and developing it into the stunning arts complex “The Courthouse Studios and Gallery”. The Old Ennistymon Society is grateful to those individuals who donated photographs for this exhibition, to those who subsequently donated additional photos which now form part of the Old Ennistymon Society Collection, and to Maureen Comber for her assistance with the exhibition and collection.
Pilkington, Griffin, Keane Collection
The Pilkington, Griffin & Keane Collection of photographs contain images of family members and friends from the Keanes of Beechpark and Hermitage, Ennis, the Pilkingtons of Waterpark, Ennis and Kiltrellig, Kilbaha and the Griffins of Kilbaha. The photographs, which date from the 1860s to 1960s, are in the possession of Pilkington descendants in Australia and London. Between 1890 and 1903, three Pilkington brothers and a Griffin cousin emigrated to Australia where they married and raised families. These photographs were collected from descendants of these four families and compiled for a Pilkington and Griffin family reunion held in Australia at Easter 2013. Scans of the photographs were donated to Clare County Library by Katrina Pilkington Vincent who also supplied background information on the families’ history.
The Postcard Collection contains a miscellany of photographs of County Clare mainly covering holiday resorts, scenic views, towns and villages and historical buildings. Many of the postcards are tinted. The main producers of postcards in Ireland - The Lawrence and Valentine Studios - are well represented in the collection.
|Postcards from Europe,
1922 – 1925|
The Aubrey Vere OBrien Collection
A collection of postcards sent from Europe by Aubrey Vere OBrien (29 November 1885 - 7 October 1925) to his family in Ballyalla, Ennis, and Foynes Island, Limerick, between 1922 and 1925. These postcards were kindly donated to Clare County Library by the family of Murrogh and Suzanne OBrien in January 2021. Murrogh OBrien was the son of Hugh Murrogh Vere OBrien of Foynes Island, originally from Ballyalla, Ennis. Hugh was the recipient of the majority of these postcards. Both Aubrey and Hugh were the sons of Robert Vere OBrien, Clerk of the Crown and Peace for County Clare and a cousin of Lord Inchiquin.
Aubrey, an intrepid and enthusiastic traveller, effectively kept a travel diary through his constant postcards home. Travelling through the Balkans, the Adriatic Sea and Greece and its islands, Aubrey was visiting parts of Europe recovering from the calamity of the Great War and the ensuing dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The countries he visited were recovering from turmoil, and were set to endure further upheaval with the subsequent growth of Fascism, the Second World War, Communism and the rise of the Iron Curtain. Aubrey wrote an engaging chronicle of his odyssey, commenting on local people, customs and places, prices and regional delicacies, quality of accommodation in hotel or pension, and most especially he wrote of his great passion, mountaineering and hill walking. Sadly, he died shortly after his European voyages in a tragic shooting accident in Clare in 1925. In its obituary, “The Saturday Record” noted ‘the deceased was a young man in the prime of life, who had travelled extensively and was an accomplished linguist’.
Clare County Library is grateful to the family of Murrogh and Suzanne OBrien for this wonderful pictorial record of their grand-uncle’s travels on the Continent.The Photographs
Prints and Manuscripts Collection
This collection contains prints of drawings, engravings and paintings. It also contains manuscripts.
Born in Dublin, Sonia Schorman lived in Clare since
the 1970s. She had a keen interest in archaeology and was a member
of the Shannon Archaeological
and Historical Society since the 1980s. She was also editor of the
society's magazine, 'The Other Clare', for a number of years. After
a Diploma in Archaeology in 1997, she donated the photographs she
had taken during her studies to Clare County Library, and also offered
copies of any future photographs she might take. The collection contains
2,500 photographs of, primarily, archaeological subjects.
Survey of Churches and Graveyards Collection
This collection is a photographic record of the medieval churches of County Clare and their graveyards. The photographs are part of “A Church and Graveyard Survey in County Clare” carried out by archaeologist Simon Large for Clare County Council. The survey was an action under the Clare Heritage Plan and provides a clear picture of the state of County Clare’s medieval churches in 2011. The photographs record in detail the walls of each structure, inside and out – wherever possible – and show their overall condition as well as recording items of particular interest such as doorways, windows and other architectural features. The condition of any associated graveyards is also recorded.
The Vandeleur Collection was donated to Kilrush Amenity Trust Ltd by David Christie Miller in 1998 and consequently to Clare County Archives. David Christie Miller is the son of Lieut.-Colonel Sir Geoffrey Christie Miller. Sir Geoffrey's brother Sydney Richardson Christie Miller married Evelyn Norah Vandeleur in 1904, the daughter of Hector Stewart Vandeleur and Charlotte Foster. Hector Stewart Vandeleur was the last of the Vandeleurs to live in Kilrush House before it was destroyed by fire in 1897. The collection is contained in two albums. Album 1 dates from 1857 to 1871, with most of the photographs dating from the early 1860s. The photographs depict the children of Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur, their family and their circle of friends and acquaintances. There are many photographs of soldiers, particularly those of the 10th Royal Hussars and the 7th Dragoon Guards, both based in India, to which Captain Crofton Toler Vandeleur belonged. Album 2 covers the period from 1895 to January 1896. It contains photographs of the Vandeleur Family, Kilrush House, Kilrush Town, Kilkee and Cappagh. It also contains photographs of Vandeleur family portraits. Two pages are dedicated to Dromoland Castle, with photographs of the O’Brien family. There are also many photographs of the Foster family and of their homes in Apley Park, Bridgnorth, Shropshire and Spratton Grange, Northampton.
The Westropp Collection photographs were taken by Thomas Johnson Westropp of Atyflinn, County Limerick. A prolific photographer, writer and draughtsman, he is probably the most famous antiquarian associated with County Clare. The photographs in this collection are mounted in an album titled “Views in County Clare 1898” and the dedication reads “Dr George U Macnamara, with T.J. Westropp’s best wishes. In remembrance of many happy excursions 1894-1898-1902.” The album was donated to Clare County Library by the MacNamara family of Corrofin.