Dr. Bill O' Gorman, from WIT, speaking about this site on WLR

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Annie Brophy: Waterford’s 20th century social historian

Annie Brophy’s photographs play an important part in Waterford’s 20th century social history. Very few households in the city do not have at least one Brophy image, often proudly displayed in a frame on the mantelpiece or the sideboard. A visit to her studio at 9 Barker Street (just off Ballybricken) was an integral part of many “Big Days” in the lives of tens of thousands of the city’s people and many local people have “Annie Brophy” stories to tell. In 2005 Waterford City Council purchased her life’s work (over 60,000 negatives!) for deposit in Waterford City Archives.

Annie took a huge amount of photos of Waterford and surrounding areas from the 1920s to the 1970s, including pictures of local bands, teams, committees, family portraits, wedding parties and other groups. Annie also took a few more unusual photos including shots of the aftermath of the Jail Wall Disaster, that terrible event in March 1943 where 10 people were killed when part of the Jail Wall collapsed on their homes.

Donal Moore, City Archivist, stated: “Yet again we found the standard of the negatives in the Brophy Collection was very high. The images are a wonderful testimony to Annie Brophy’s methodical and professional approach to photography. Very few of the images had to be cleaned up or manipulated in any way. They say that every picture can tell a story so I think that this exhibition will be a large book for many Waterford people! I hope that the exhibition will bring back memories of a time gone by to many Waterford people.”

For further information on the exhibition or the Brophy Collection please contact Donal Moore, City Archivist, on 051-843123, 087-8185715 or archives@waterfordcity.ie

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