Celbridge – A Photographic Record

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Celbridge Camera Club (CCC) is creating a vast on-line archive of images of Celbridge and nearby towns.  The archive will span the period from the 1900s to the present day and will capture all aspects of life in Celbridge and its environs over the years.  ‘Celbridge – A Photographic Record” will provide a unique and valuable visual historical record of Celbridge through the medium of photography. The Club is producing a high-quality photographic book reflecting the built and natural environment together with all facets of life in 2021.  Copies will be made available to all schools, libraries and organisations involved in the arts and heritage of Celbridge.  Copies will also be available to purchase.  In addition, Celbridge Camera Club will also host a vast on-line interactive platform of more than 2,000 carefully curated photographs. Local historian and former school principal, Tony Doohan, is assisting CCC with the compilation of old photographs and with historical context and the archive will eventually become a precious and valuable digital archive.

Context

In 1990 members of CCC put together an Album of 150 photographs of Celbridge Town.  The purpose of that Album was to provide a Photographic Record of Celbridge in 1990.  The images were bound in 12 leather Albums, was launched in July 1990 and was featured on the RTE news.  Copies of the Album were lodged with the National Library, Kildare County Library, Celbridge Library and the main sponsor, Telemecanique.  Remaining copies were presented to each of the national and secondary schools in Celbridge.  It was very clear to everybody at the time that the real value of the Album would become even more apparent with the passage of time.  And certainly, at this point when you look at the images are an excellent reflection of life in Celbridge over 30 years ago and the Album continues provide an accurate “snapshot” of Celbridge in 1990 and remains in use in the schools. At the time everybody involved was very impressed with the concept and the final product and could see its immediate and long-term benefits.

The Club has embarked on this major project to provide all in the Community with access to a superb and comprehensive collection of images of their locality building on the heritage of its 1990 Photographic Record of Celbridge.

The Club has established a team comprised of experienced managers and photographers and has put €2,500 of its own funds towards the Project.  We are also very happy to announce that our Club’s project was one of the Winners of the 2021 Intel Pride of Place Competition and received grant assistance of €2,500 towards the project.

The Club’s Committee and the Project Team have been working non-stop since February on developing the concept and club members have captured images which have been curated and are due to go to print this month.

Project leader – Michael Davitt – says “The greatest benefit and impact of this project will be for those who come after us.  The Album will educate, and amaze, all those in the future who turn back the pages of history and look at how we lived in 2021 and before.

Celbridge has changed dramatically over the last 30 years in so many ways.  Photography has also changed, and digital photography has opened up new, exciting, and previously unavailable opportunities.  The Club is giving freely of its expertise in digital imagery for the wider benefit of all people and organisations in Celbridge and nearby towns.

All of these elements of the project will continue to benefit the community through its distribution to the National Library, local libraries and all local schools.  Not only that but it will also benefit those who have over the years had to emigrate or who now live abroad. They will forever, with one click of a button, be able to visit where they grew up and went to school. And, of course, as yet unborn children will be able to look back at the life their parents lived in Celbridge and environs when 2021 is but a distant memory for all. 

The images captured will also contain a significant number of beautiful photographs of wildlife and their habitats. Aerial shots will reveal and record the nature of the towns and their place in the environment

To the extent that people will be educated and informed by these images perhaps this may lead to greater knowledge and appreciation of the wonderful part of the country occupied by North Kildare and its towns.

The planned launch date for the book is 19th November 2021. Details to be announced closer to the time.

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