This website is dedicated to preserving, presenting, and promoting the archaeological photography of the late William McCartney ‘Cocky’ Dunlop, BEM, MBE, 1920-2011. Billy had a long, active, and productive life that saw him move from postman, WW II veteran, Union official, and archaeologist (to name but a few). It was in the last of these guises that Billy amassed an impressive collection of photographs of archaeological sites and monuments. A large part of his collection encompassed various tours, and field trips, taken over many years. However, the collection includes a substantial number of photographs taken during excavations. Even where these projects have been formally published, such glimpses into the day-to-day experience of being on-site during these iconic excavations have never been seen before in public.
After Billy passed away in September 2011, I was offered his collection of archaeological photographs. The collection consists of a number of albums of prints, boxes of slides, loose prints etc. My intention is to scan and copy all of the images and make them available here for the interest and benefit of the wider archaeological community, along with anyone around the world with an interest in our shared heritage. This is a long-term project and I foresee it taking several years to complete, so check back from time to time to see if any new albums have been added or updated.
For anyone wishing to know a little more about Billy, you may read my appreciation of his life here or see and hear him talk about his own life and times here. After his death I was entrusted with much of his personal library. I attempted to raise some money for the Down's Syndrome Association, NI (a Dunlop Family cause) by redistributing some of his collection to the next generation of archaeologists. Read how we got on here.
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At the time of writing (December 2011) I've only had the opportunity to superficially view and examine the archive.
The following is an initial catalogue of the collection:
Note: Closer examination of the clear plastic bags shows that the paper labels only refer to the top batches of prints ... further bundles of prints lie below!
My plan is to work from individual containers of photographs. Each will be scanned/copied and divided into groups by site, field trip or by excavation (whichever appears most appropriate). Each group of photographs will be accessible through the drop-down menu in the top left-hand corner of the home page. Updates about recent additions to the catalogue will be posted in the 'News Updates' section in the left-hand sidebar, and on our dedicated Facebook page. Readers are welcome to add additional information or reminiscences to the albums or to suggest which container should be attempted next! If anyone has photographs of Billy himself on any of these field trips, or from any other source, I would be delighted to include them too.
Robert M Chapple (Project Director)
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Note: The photograph of Billy is taken from Archaeology Ireland (20.4, p. 5) and is reproduced by kind permission of Nick Maxwell and Wordwell Books.