Local History by Seán Beattie


Donegal Photographs on Flikr

I have been looking at the new National Library collection of photographs on Flikr. Up to page 30 I found 5 relating to the county – fishermen at Ardara, Bishop McNeely, Lough Derg, CDB nurse on Arranmore and Tory scene. There is no known copyright so I downloaded one as a trial. Unfortunately, I found it blurred when I opened it up to a larger size although I did manage to copy and paste correctly. The NLI normally charges hefty reproduction and copyright fees for their photos so it is a relief to find them free of charge. I recall paying up to 100 euro for single pictures when I published Donegal in Old Photos in 2004. I am not charged for publishing photos in the Donegal Annual. On the other hand, while they are great to look at, it is not much use if they cannot be enlarged or copied effectively. Seems they have over half a million in stock so it is about time the NLI got real and let go of the purse strings. Most of the images belong to the nation. I do accept that the NLI has done a wonderful job in conservation for which we give thanks. The new public collection is a  great step forward if it gives more people access to the archive.


  1. Jonathan Bell

    Hi Sean

    The NLI has been pretty good with Mervyn and myself, charging 20 euros a scan from the Irish Times archive. Having said that, they haven’t sent the last ones we ordered!

    Best wishes


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