The Photo Album of the Irish

Your Photos, Your Memories, Our History

Note: This site currently defaults to starting in ‘Photo Album of the Irish / USA’ mode. To switch mode, click on ‘Show all albums’ top right.

Tintype photograph circa 1863 of Joe Flynn’s great grandfather, Michael E Flynn (left), with names Paul Newhall (center); Tom Cox (right) noted on the reverse. Michael Flynn was born in 1845 to recently-arrived Irish immigrants, Edward and Ann Flynn. He enlisted in NY 99th Infantry at the age of 16 in 1861. He mustered for three years as a private in Company G and was discharged in Oct 1864 at Newbern North Carolina.He married Mary E Manning of Somerville, MA in 1870, they had four children, Edward J, Catherine, Helena and Joseph (Joe’s grandfather). He was employed as a mason, and served on the Common Council of the City of Somerville in 1892. He died in Somerville in 1896.

About the Project

The Photo Album of Ireland is a digital archiving project that celebrates the ordinary and extraordinary histories of people with Irish heritage reflected in their family photo albums.

Our team at the Gallery of Photography have been touring Ireland and the US collecting and scanning family photographs taken as early as the 1850’s to the 1990’s. These personal memories reveal the details of how people lived, worked, what they wore, how they celebrated special occasions and generally what everyday life was like for Irish people and Irish diaspora throughout history. The project explores the ways in which photography takes note of larger changes in society, as private family histories are often ruptured by key events in history.

As we collect these photographs we are also archiving the stories and memories associated with the people in the images, as told by our contributors. This allows us to preserve the legacy of Irish people and diaspora around the globe and share their stories with the rest of the world.

The aim of this project is to create a digital archive of Irish heritage that will become an ongoing collection that future generations can contribute to. Soon we will be publishing a Photo Album of the Irish book that will feature photographs collected from Irish diaspora in the United States.

Your Photos, Your Memories, Our History.

© Mullan family, Philadelphia, Conlon Family Archive/The Photo Album of the Irish

How to Use the Site

If you are from the USA, feel free to navigate through the US version of the site, which can be located at the top right corner.

You can find photo albums categorized by family under the ‘Albums’ heading. Essays and articles covering historical themes can be found under the ‘writings’ heading. The US site will only show albums and essays relevant to Irish American families and Irish diaspora. To see all albums (Irish and US families) switch over to the general site by clicking ‘show all albums’.