The Lawrence Collection in the National Library of Ireland consists of about 40,000 glass plate photographic negatives of Irish scenes dating from the period 1870 to 1910. The Lawrence Photographic Project was a nationwide endeavor coordinated in 1990/1991 by the Federation of Local History Societies and the Federation for Ulster Local Studies, where a thousand scenes from the Lawrence Collection were replicated approximately one hundred years later by a team of 77 volunteer photographers, thereby creating a modern collection to complement the Lawrence Collection.
The objective was to facilitate the future study of the changing topography of cities, towns and rural areas throughout Ireland by recording on film the constant changes in the physical environment. Scenes were selected based on perceived significance, variety of subject (with an emphasis on street scenes) and geographical spread. As well as placing a full set of prints (the Lawrence and the new) with the National Library of Ireland and the Ulster Museum, the Federation of Local History Societies and the Federation For Ulster Local Studies also distributed a set of prints relating to scenes within each county in the Republic of Ireland to the corresponding county library.
Waterfoot, Co. Antrim, circa 1890
Waterfoot, Co. Antrim, 1990
Middle Row, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, circa 1879
Middle Row, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, 1990
Market Square, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, circa 1900
Market Square, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, 1991
Main Street, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, circa 1899
Main Street, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, 1990
Stella Maris Hotel, Kilkee, Co. Clare, circa 1890
Stella Maris Hotel, Kilkee, Co. Clare, 1990
Ballyhooly, Co. Cork, 1880
Ballyhooly, Co. Cork, 1991
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station, Malin Head, Co. Donegal, January 1902