Paper Collections

The Irish Film Archive’s Paper Collection provides primary research material on the history of Irish film. Housed in a climate-controlled vault, the collection the collection includes films stills and posters from Irish films, and production material including scripts, storyboards, correspondence, publicity, newspaper clippings and ephemera. The Paper Archive has been acquired from a range of sources, and includes collections from filmmakers such as Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Donald Taylor Black, Pat Murphy, Lord Killanin and Josie MacAvin. Collections relating to the Irish Film Board, the National Film Institute and the Horgan Picture Theatre in Youghal are also held.

The Paper Collections can be accessed by appointment. If you would like to make an appointment, or to enquire about the material we hold, please email

Although the Archive’s database cannot be searched online, a number of our collection descriptions have been made available on the Irish Archives Resource at

For information on purchasing digital copies of stills, posters or documents, please see our Commercial Access page (Link). This service may be restricted due to preservation concerns, copyright law, or conditions laid down by donors.

The document collections provide contextual information on the production of Irish film, both in Ireland and internationally, and the history of Irish film, the Irish film industry, and film exhibition in Ireland. The documents in the collection are extremely varied, and date from the early 20th century to the present day. Documents in the collection include production material (scripts, shotlists, storyboards, transcripts etc.), publicity material, correspondence, diaries, reports, minute books and press clippings. The Archive has a non-purchase acquisitions policy, and the collections have been donated from a range of sources including cinemas, filmmakers, film societies and film agencies.
Publicity material is also received regularly from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Irish Film Board, which includes credits, synopses, stills, posters and press packs from current Irish film and television productions.
Major collections in the Archive include:

The Lord Killanin Collection
Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin was heavily involved with the establishment of the Irish film industry in the 1950s. In 1951 he set up the production company Four Provinces Productions, with Brian Desmond Hurst and John Ford on the board of directors. He worked on a number of productions including “The Quiet Man”, “The Rising of the Moon”,“The Playboy of the Western World” and “Young Cassidy”.

The collection is comprised mainly of personal and business correspondence between Killanin and various others associated with the film industry, including the directors John Ford and Brian Desmond Hurst, screenwriter Frank Nugent and actor Tyrone Power.
Highlights of this collection include correspondence and files relating to John Ford and two of his films, The Rising of the Moon, and Gideon’s Day.

The Pat Murphy Collection
Of particular interest are the storyboards and screenplays for Maeve and Anne Devlin, as well as material on Sean MacBride Remembers and Birmingham Six: Parade of Innocence.

The Tiernan MacBride Collection
A valuable record of the development of the Irish Film Industry, this collection contains material relating to his work with the Irish Film Theatre, Film Producers Association, the ITGWU, and the Irish Film Board.

The Horgan Collection
This collection gives an intriguing glimpse into the day-to-day running of the Horgan Picture Theatre, Youghal, Co. Cork. The collection includes photographs, screenings diaries, exhibitor’s diaries, ticket sales records, and accounts. One of the original 35mm Kamm projectors from the cinema is on now display in the IFI Library.

Posters and Stills
The Archive’s photographic collection includes stills from feature films, animation, documentaries and television series; headshots and publicity shots of actors and filmmakers; on-set photographs; photographs taken at film events and festivals; and exterior and interior shots of cinemas.
The images in the collection range from the 1910s to the present day, and come from a variety of sources including production companies, filmmakers, the Irish Film Board and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
The majority of the collection has been digitised, and other images may be digitised by request.
The Archive’s poster collection includes posters for Irish films, foreign screenings of Irish films, Irish film festivals and festivals and screenings held at the Irish Film Institute.
The majority of posters in the collection have not been digitised, but posters may be digitised by request.
For more information on the stills and poster collections, please email
For information on purchasing digital copies of stills or posters, please see our Commercial Access page. This service may be restricted due to preservation concerns, copyright law, or conditions laid down by donors.

*Image Reproduction Service

  • The Archive’s image collections include stills from Irish productions, publicity headshots of Irish actors, on-set photographs and film posters. Images may be purchased as high resolution digital files, or photographic prints.
  • At least two days’ notice must be given for any stills reproduction request. Photographic prints may take longer.
  • Additional charges may be incurred if images are not yet digitised. Charges may be substantially higher for the reproduction of posters, which cannot be digitised in-house.
  • It is the responsibility of the user to clear copyright for the image.
  • The appropriate photographic reproduction fee must be paid.
  • The IFI Irish Film Archive must be credited as the source of the image.

For more information on image reproduction, please email

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