About De Animorum Immortalitate.

Welcome to De Animorum Immortalitate, a small selection of photographs from the private collection of Adam An-tAthair-Síoraí.

The photographs in the collection span the period 1860 to date. The images uploaded to this website consist entirely of those which can be traced to a specific photographer and will cover the period up to roughly 1930. They are classified into Town categories for ease of search and, on the individual posts, include a Name tab so that further images from the same photographer may easily be found. The Name Tags are by surname or studio name only, so anyone searching for a common name such as Schröder – as one example – will, unfortunately, find every single photograph included by a photographer named Schröder.

Where available Addresses and Dates are included, when these appear on the individual photographs. An image of the Reverse of each photograph is included, where a graphic advertisement from the photographer has been printed.

Over the last one hundred years or so there have been many geographical and political changes within Europe, causing the moving of borders and many name changes. Town names given on De Animorum Immortalitate reflect the name given on the individual photographs, regardless of whether it is still used or not. So, for example, the German town of Kassel may be referred to as Cassel (the name changed in 1925) and Bruchhausen-Vilsen can also appear as Vilsen or as Bruchhausen. Köln might appear as Cologne, Cöln or even Coeln. Some smaller towns have also been absorbed over time: Gröplingen and Sebaldsbrück, for example, are now suburbs of Bremen. And, finally, some areas attempted to keep their identities for as long as possible, so we have Linden, then Linden-Hannover, then Hannover-Linden and, now, just Hannover. Unfortunately this also means that someone could move across several categories without ever changing their studio address.

De Animorum Immortalitate initially comprised a collection of photographs linked to Germany – in fact it began as a collection of postcards and images connected to a specific town. As the collection has grown the area of interest has grown too, as has the selection of photographs and photographers available. It is marked as a Private Collection, for several reasons: the collection is not financed by any government or institution, nor is it open to the public under normal circumstances; many of the ‘public’ collections approached, and many of the towns where images have been included, showed either no interest in the collection whatsoever, or displayed an attitude of arrogance and unhelpfulness which precludes any interest in working with them at any time in the future. To this end it is my pleasure to specifically name – and shame – the Royal Photographic Collection in England, the Stadtarchiv Nienburg, the Stadtarchiv Bruchhausen-Vilsen, and the town hall of Verden for their, at times, exceptionally rude responses to offers, on my part, to share information and images.

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