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Title: ‘Eyes fixed on the Past’ : the Poole hidden archive : a case study of the materiality of the photographic prints, and the research implications for working with historical photographs
Author: O’Brien-Moran, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 0518
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2019
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The research process leading to this thesis, ‘Eyes fixed on the Past ’, The Poole hidden archive: a case study of the materiality of the Poole photographic prints, and the research implications for working with historical photographs, and the attached body of photographic work has been concerned with the materiality of photographic archives and the impact that their digitization will have for future researchers. These twin topics of materiality and digitization are explored through an historical case study of the Poole photographic archive. This extensive collection, held by the National Library of Ireland, was produced by the Poole Photographic Firm in Waterford between 1884 and 1954. It is a central argument of this thesis, that any analysis of the Poole collection will be inadequate without an engagement with the physical properties of the material archive. By making use of dialogical modes of visual inquiry, the practice element of the research, questions the ability of a digital surrogate to adequately replace a three dimensional object. Through an empirical study, the importance of the Poole photographic prints as a primary research source is demonstrated. Accordingly the research responds to gaps and inaccuracies in current Irish Photographic History. My original contribution to existing knowledge rests in the uncovering of the ‘Poole hidden archive’, which had hitherto been overlooked. This archive of original photographic prints and their attendant notation, provide a rich source of social history for late nineteenth and early twentieth century Ireland. Furthermore, the research has established the status of A. H. Poole as a leading commercial photographer both in Ireland and England. The main body of photographic work entitled ‘All that Remains’, while offering a visual exploration of the concept of photographic materiality, augments current understanding of the nature of photographic emulsion and its response to the environment. As a considerable number of uncatalogued photographs are integrated in the body of the thesis, it was decided to refer to photographs by Figure number. This is located beneath each photograph.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available