The archive project’s objective was to digitise Leo Swan’s aerial photographs and to provide access to the images online. Metadata for each of the over 6500 images has been created from Leo’s own notes and annotations, but also through extensive research by the principal investigator Katherine Daly, with assistance from Evie Monaghan. Metadata conversion, content management and web publishing was undertaken by Louise Kennedy. Bringing together rolls of film which had been cut and dispersed was crucial to identifying many of the archaeological sites and features. The physical collection was transferred to conservation grade storage during the course of the project.
Leo used two film format sizes: 35mm and medium format. A roll of 35mm photographic film consists of approximately 38 images. Medium format (sometimes known as 120) consists of 8 – 12 images. Compared to 35mm, medium format film uses 3 or 4 times more film surface, resulting in better tonality, finer detail and less apparent grain. However, medium format cameras are bigger, heavier and more expensive. 35mm image account for approximately 80% of the total number of images in the collection. A complete analysis of the physical archive is ongoing.
Film size in file names
On this website, images which are derived from 35mm film contain 35BWN, 35CN or 35CT in the file name, while images which are derived from medium format film contain 66, 67 or 68 BWN, CN or CT in the file name. This indicates that the original medium format film was 6 inches by 6 inches, 6 inches by 7 inches and so on.
The archive project was generously funded by The Heritage Council in 2011 and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in 2012.