Amateur sleuthing helps solve the mysteries of old Irish photos

Members of the public helped unpick the National Library’s image collection on Flickr

The Rileys – survivors of the sinking of the Lusitania, Cobh, Co Cork. Meet Annie and Edward Riley, and their twins, Sutcliffe and Ethel. Photograph: AH Poole

The Rileys – survivors of the sinking of the Lusitania, Cobh, Co Cork. Meet Annie and Edward Riley, and their twins, Sutcliffe and Ethel. Photograph: AH Poole

The first community-sourced exhibition of photographs and stories from the collection of the National Library of Ireland was opened on Wednesday by Sabina Higgins. Photo Detectives, at the National Photographic Archive in Dublin, celebrates the library’s historic collections by highlighting the work of researchers around the world who have helped discover details about the photographs in the library’s holdings.

In June 2011 the National Library joined the Flickr Commons digital platform to give wider exposure to its archive and to encourage the public to add comments, descriptions and tags. The library’s images within the Commons have no known copyright restrictions, which means they are available for non-commercial research and private study.

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