Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Old Irish Postcards collection: Offaly

An exclusive collection of historic images from Co Offaly to view and purchase.

Over 6,000 photographs, political prints and portraits from days gone by form part of a project launched at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast.

The images, which have been scanned and digitised for an online archive, are on sale to the public through the Belfast Telegraph’s website.

Featuring grand architecture, old family photos and unspoilt landscapes, the postcards give a sense of life in towns and cities across Ireland more than 100 years ago.

From steamships and sports teams to linen mills and political rallies, the images cover the whole of Ireland and date from around 1800 to 1900.

Other collections feature posters for Ulster’s industrial centres, including Barbour’s Linen Works in Lisburn and the spinning mill at Balnamore in Ballymoney. Seaside joke cards and old greetings cards can also be bought from the archive, which displays both black and white and full colour images to peruse.

Monica McErlane, deputy librarian at the Linen Hall Library, said the postcards would “bring back happy memories”.

“The postcards have a really nostalgic feeling — we’ve got pictures of the high street in Bangor circa 1900 and the old Belfast city centre,” she said.

“We’re hoping to reach people who maybe lived here and have since moved away, but want to look back on what things were like.

“By putting them online it reaches a wider audience and also conserves the postcards, as we don’t have to keep the originals on display.

The postcards are priced between £10 and £50 and can be reproduced as prints, A3 posters or on mugs.

To view collection and buy the images, visit www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/postcards.

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