|Disciplines||Art and Design, History, Librarianship and Museum Studies, Religion, Theology|
|Temporal Terms||Modern (19th c. to 20th c.)|
|Methods and Techniques||Cataloguing and indexing, Data Analysis, Data Capture, Data publishing and dissemination, Data Structuring and enhancement, Digital document preparation, Generic Searching/linking/visualizing, Image capture, Image capture and transformation, Image processing, Linking records, Manual transcription, Practice-led Research, Project Management, Searching and querying, Security/backup, Strategy and project management, User interface/Website design, Visualization, Web technologies|
|Contact||Donna Romano - romanodncad [dot] ie|
|Start/End date||January 2004 - November 2006|
|Keywords||windows, visual culture, statues, statuary, stained glass, sculpture, mosaics, metalwork, material culture, marble, Ireland, glass, ecclesiastical furnishings, design archives, decorative arts, cultural heritage, craftworkers, craft studio, craft, churches, church history, church furnishings, church finance, built heritage, baptistries, art and design, architecture, architectural heritage, altars|
|Data Formats||Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), JPEG File Interchange Format (JPEG), Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), Text File (TXT)|
|Metadata Formats||CDWA - Categories for the Description of Works of Art, Dublin Core, simple (DC)|
|Funding||Heritage Council (An Chomhairle Oidhreachta), National College of Art and Design (NCAD)|
|Irish Geographic Names||All Ireland|
This is the archive of one of the largest and most prestigious ecclesiastical decorators in Ireland and the UK which operated out of their office and workshops in Dublin's Camden Street from 1852-1974. The archive, consisting of 337 design drawings and 30 bound volumes of supporting documentation, was donated by the Earley family to the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) at the National College of Art and Design between 2002 and 2005. A project to index and digitise the drawings was completed in 2004 and this material made available to the public on the NIVAL website.
EARLEY & COMPANY
Earley & Company originated as Earley and Powells in Dublin in 1864. The firm was one of the largest and most prestigious ecclesiastical decorators both in Ireland and the U.K. The company secured its prominence through its versatility in being able to produce sculpture, painted decoration, glass and metal work, and through its well-established links with the Catholic hierarchy. All the designs in this collection have come from the company’s premises at 1, Upper Camden Street where they were based until 1975. During the period of their operation, the firm designed and executed a very large number of projects for churches in Ireland and England , with a few commissions from Australia and the United States .
The majority of the designs are for stained glass windows and altars, and this reflects the emphasis of the company’s activities and the most popular commissions. Most of the drawings date from the earliest periods when the company was run by Thomas Earley (1819-1893) and his nephews John Bishop Earley (1856 -1935) and William Earley (1872-1956). There are very few drawings from the firm’s activities of the later period.
The designs are highly finished and appear to have been used for display to prospective clients. There are few actual working drawings or cartoons. The designs are rarely personally credited. Some may contain initials or a signature, but the majority are signed ‘Earley & Powells’ or ‘Earley & Co.’ This indicates a strong workshop ethos and corporate identity.
THE DIGITISATION PROJECT
In 2004, the Library completed a project of digitising the Earley designs and establishing a searchable database of the collection. This project was carried out by Eneclann, Ltd., an archives and records management company, and was funded by the National College of Art & Design and the Heritage Council.
The database records contain summary information extracted from the designs, as well as an image index number. The majority of records also display a large thumbnail image for quick reference. To view a full-screen image, click on the thumbnail or the image index number where appropriate.
The original drawings and large scale, preservation quality images of the complete collection are available to view on disc in the Library. Additional background information on the Earley’s can also be found in the Library.