The William Dunlop Archaeological Photographic Archive

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.

[** Please help support the work of the WDAPA. Each donation helps keep the project alive! **]

The Archive
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:

 Container Title   Contents Catalogued
Binder Excavations  Labelled prints 
 Album RoI 1984  Labelled prints   N
 Album  Haughey's Fort excavations 1987-  Labelled prints   Y
Binder Field Trips Misc (Non UAS)   Labelled prints Scanned
 Paper folder  unlabelled Some labelled prints  Scanned
 Paper folder UAS field trip Roscommon/Remembrance Sunday (25)/Everglades Hotel L'derry (Louis[?]) (3), Castlenard [?] (1)  Labelled prints Ready for Upload
 Paper folder Carrowmore Presentation (?) 1982/65 prints to be ...(?)/Main passage Knowth with S_(?) Thompson (?)/front of Newgrange with M. O'kelly empty: contents of this envelope appear to have been incorporated into the bundle of loose prints (see below) Ready for Uplaod
 White envelope Castle Upton Mound/Templepatrick, Co. Antrim Labelled prints  Ready for Upload
Clear plastic bag   Misc. field trips Labelled prints  Ready for Upload
 Clear plastic bag Site visits 1984 Some labelled prints Ready for Upload
 Clear plastic bag  UAS field trip Ards Peninsula Recce 11.08.05 13.08.05 Some labelled prints    Ready for Upload
 Clear plastic bag Site visits by year
Site Visits 1981: Antrim, Cork, Donegal, & Down
Site Visits 1982: Clare, Cork, Down, Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry, London, Louth, Meath
Site Visits 1983: Antrim, Cork, Donegal, Down, Lancashire, & Meath
Mostly labelled prints    Ready for Upload
 White plastic bag Jordan's Castle, Ardglass 03-13.08.98.
Ballynahatty 1991.
Navan Fort Ditch 22.06-01.09.98
Lyle's Hill 1987
Haughey's Fort 1987, 1989 & 1991
Donegore Hill 1984
Navan Fort 2002
Mostly labelled prints  Y
 7 boxes + loose slides untitled  Mostly labelled slides  N
 c.30-40 loose prints untitled: Site visits 1975, 1980s, & 2008 Mostly labelled prints  Ready for Upload
 2 loose pages in poly-pockets untitled  8 labelled prints  Ready for Upload
 Album Egypt 1981  Labelled prints  N
Binder Egypt 1981  Labelled slides  N
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!

The Methodology
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.