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Photographic Records of Jacob's Biscuit Factory Preserved for the Future

Collection of 4,500 digital images relating to factory processes and employees have been preserved in the Digital Repository of Ireland

The photographic archive of the Jacob's Biscuit Factory has been digitally preserved for the future, and made instantly available via the Digital Repository of Ireland. This digital collection represents images dating from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. The physical archive was acquired by Dublin City Library and Archive in 2012, and comprises 330 boxes of corporate records relating to over 150 years of biscuit making in Dublin. These reflect the company’s history as a major employer in Dublin, and in Liverpool, and as a global exporter of biscuits.

The images document changing factory processes and machinery, factory buildings, the Jacob's Radio and Television Awards, and advertising material. The collection is also brought to life by its many photographs of Jacob's employees and pensioners at company events, including long service awards and sporting events.

City Archivist Mary Clark at the Dublin City Library and Archive, commented:

We are always delighted to make our collections available to a wider audience. The Jacob's collection contains a rich tapestry of social history which will resonate with researchers and the general public. Thousands of Dubliners were employed by W & R Jacob between 1851 and 2009, and the collection provides insight into the working lives and living conditions of those that were employed by the firm.

City Librarian Mairead Owens said:

Europeana brings together material from institutions and individuals across Europe in collections about art, literature, music, industrial heritage and more. Dublin City Libraries is delighted to make the Jacob's Collection available through Europeana, this will add a distinctive Irish and Dublin flavour to the richness of our shared European cultural heritage.

One particularly fascinating object from the collection is a photograph taken from the finish line of an outdoor girl’s race featuring workers from the Jacob's Biscuit Factory

https://doi.org/10.7486/DRI.p267mf46t

In another historical image women workers dance in the recreation room at the Jacob's Biscuit Factory, while other employees sitting on benches observe them. Overhanging signs read ‘dancing only’ and 'wipe your feet first':

https://doi.org/10.7486/DRI.q524z401r

Speaking about the newly published collection, Director of DRI Natalie Harrower added:

It has been such a pleasure to work with the DCLA on their engaging collections. The Jacob’s Biscuit Factory Photographic Archive collection is not only historically very important, it is joyous and playful to browse through, and will be of great interest to a wide range of audiences. We’re also very pleased that this collection has been aggregated to Europeana, as DRI has just become an official national aggregator for Europeana, and this is a wonderful first contribution to make.

The Jacob’s collections have also been shared via the Europeana digital platform, bringing this Irish content to an even wider pan-European audience. As a result, the Jacob's archives can be viewed and shared through inclusion in Europeana’s blogs, galleries and exhibitions.

Visit the DRI repository to browse, download, and use the rich and varied Jacob's Biscuit Factory Photographic Archive collection deposited by Dublin City Library and Archive: https://repository.dri.ie/catalog/7079jp801

(main photograph: Jacob's Biscuit Factory. Collection of Jacob's Biscuits, https://doi.org/10.7486/DRI.3772ct968)