Shannon Development to make 50 years of archives available

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Early days at Shannon International Airport - US actor Gene Kelly at the world's first duty free shop in Shannon Airport
OVER fifty years of archives at Shannon Development are to be digitised and made available to the general public, the company has announced.

OVER fifty years of archives at Shannon Development are to be digitised and made available to the general public, the company has announced.

Legislation is being advanced to merge what remains of the tourism and industrial development company with Shannon Airport into the Shannon Group Plc and the archives will remain in the ownership of that new entity.

The collection comprises photographs, press clippings, brochures, annual reports and other documents dating back to the 1950s and charting the agency’s evolution and the industrial development of the Mid-West over that period. Among the photographic element of the collection are over 70,000 black and white negatives, 40,000 transparencies and 10,000 colour negatives.

“The collection contains an extremely significant historic legacy chronicling over 50 years of the Shannon region’s tourism, industrial and social evolution. In photos and words, it records the early days at Shannon Airport and the birth of the world’s first industrial free zone,” stated a company spokesperson.

“It captures the many world leaders who visited Shannon and the many glamorous Hollywood movie stars who regularly visited the area among them Gene Kelly, Bob Hope, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Grace.

“The collection is a true testament to the hard work and determination of the people of the Shannon region, the dedication of Shannon Development staff and the commitment and drive of those who partnered with the company through the years.”

The search is now on for qualified people to maintain, digitise and catalogue the collection, which is to be made available for researchers and the public. The ultimate ambition is to make the material available online. The closing date for receipt of proposals is Friday, October 25. Details can be obtained up to Friday, October 18 by emailing croninc@shannondevelopment.ie