Johnson Collection

Repository: RTE Stills Library

Identity Statement

TitleJohnson Collection
Archive ReferenceIE RTÉ Archives/Johnson
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1952-1953
Extent Medium1539 digitised from 35mm negatives and 3 digitised from 35mm positives


Creator(s): Johnson, Nevill, 1911 – 1999, photographer and artist

  • Administrative History ↴

    Nevill Johnson was born in Derbyshire, England in 1911. He moved to Belfast in 1934, before settling in Dublin and in his later years he lived mostly in London. He is primarily recognised as one of Ireland's leading modernists and was associated with the Victor Waddington Galleries in Dublin 1948-1955 and the Irish Exhibition of Living Art until the late 1950s. In 1978 he won the Royal Ulster Academy Silver Medal. Aided by a grant from the Irish Arts Council, he shot the photographs showing Dublin in the 1950s using a Leica camera and was assisted in this project by the artist Anne Yeats.
  • Archival History ↴

    The collection was purchased from Nevill Johnson by RTÉ on 19 September 1979. As well as the 1542 35mm negatives and positives, 945 cut negatives, 497 positive slides and 304 unframed positives (all copied from the original negatives) were acquired from Nevill Johnson.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Johnson, Nevill, 1911 – 1999, photographer and artist ↴

    This collection of 1542 photographs created by English artist Nevill Johnson dates from the period 1953 – 1954. The images of tenements, markets, shops and children’s street games, provide a valuable social record of the everyday lives of ordinary Dubliners at the time.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Accruals ↴

    No further major accruals expected.
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is held in a linear arrangement in reference number order.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions All of the images in the Johnson Collection are fully catalogued and available to view via the online catalogue with the RTÉ watermark. Unwatermarked images, whether high or low resolution, are only issued via Stills Library staff.
Conditions Governing ReproductionImages can be reproduced with permission only and according to rate card published on RTÉ Stills Library Online. An online ordering system exists.
Creation Dates1952-1953
Extent Medium1539 digitised from 35mm negatives and 3 digitised from 35mm positives
Characteristics Tech Req1507 of the images were scanned as high resolution jpegs. Most are 18MB in size with a pixel dimension of 2048 x 3072. The remaining 35 images were scanned as uncompressed TIFF files. They are 28MB in size with a pixel dimension of 2048 x 3072
Finding Aids An item level catalogue is available to search online at: Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Originals InformationSince 2005 the collection of original negatives has been housed in the National Photographic Archive of Ireland, Dublin.
Publication NoteNevill Johnson, 'The Other Side of Six' (University Press of Ireland, 1983) ‘Dublin: the people’s city. The photographs of Nevill Johnson 1952-53’, foreword by James Plunkett (The Academy Press, 1981)

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteRTE Stills library
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions2014