As part of the celebration of the University of Limerick’s 50th Anniversary, it was decided that the Special Collections and Archives Department would catalogue the photographic element of the University Archives. This involves using Adlib to describe the photographs so that the collection can be made more accessible, and it will be easier for employees and users to find photographs in the future. Much of the collection had already been listed but needed to be renumbered, described in more detail and some of the collection needed to be rehoused in new folders and boxes. This collection includes thousands of photographs, negatives, slides, and DVDs of photographs which track the development of the University from its humble beginnings in 1972 as the National Institute for Higher Education, to its status as a university in 1989, and on to today. As a past student, it has been interesting to see how the campus grew and how familiar buildings were constructed.
It has also been lovely to get to know the faces of people who appear over the years and watch them grow older alongside the University. In a recent Advent Calendar social media campaign, we have had a great response from the public, with many followers sharing their memories of the University, sparked by these photographs. It was decided that a representative sample of the collection should be digitised and hosted on the recently launched Digital Library. This has made these photographs available to a much wider audience than ever could have been imagined. It was hoped that these photographs could be used in UL50 Celebratory events and so far, they have been used in two exhibitions with some due to be used in a book.