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Michael Schwartz Northern Ireland photographs

Collection MS-2018-005: Michael Schwartz Northern Ireland photographs


  • Creation: 1988 - 2014
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1988 - 1997

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the lives of Catholic children in West Belfast during the years of political and religious strife in the 1980s and 1990s, as witnessed by American photojournalist Michael Schwartz. Materials include his negatives, contact prints, photographic prints, and slides, as well as his notes, and correspondence with Belfast photographer Sean Allen. Schwartz's contact prints are marked with his selections providing the full scope of images he shot and his final selection. Most of the photographic prints are black-and-white silver gelatin prints, although a small selection of digital prints made from his negatives is also included. Prints include those images from his Irish Eyes monograph, but extend well beyond that selection. Slides are copies of his prints rather than unique images, and they were likely used to promote his work.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research, except Series V. Negatives, which are closed due to their format. Contact prints of most negatives are available in Series I.

Restrictions on Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Michael Schwartz was born in 1944 in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City.

He was a staff photographer at the New York Post from 1984-1994, and after that he worked freelance for the New York Daily News. His news photographs earned him several awards, including the Society of the Silurians Best Spot News Photograph Award in 2007 and New York Press Club Spot News Awards in 2009 and 2010.

Schwartz began an independent photojournalism project in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1988, documenting children in predominantly-Catholic neighborhoods during the Troubles. He was accompanied on the project by Belfast-area photographer Sean Allen. He continued the project until the eve of Good Friday agreement in 1998, and ultimately published a selection of his photos in his book Irish Eyes: Children of West Belfast, 1988-1997 in 2016.

Schwartz died of cancer on August 15, 2017, at the age of 73.


McShane, Larry. "Legendary New York photographer Michael Schwartz dead at 73." Daily News, August 16, 2017.


8.5 Linear Feet (10 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection contains photographic works created by American photojournalist Michael Schwartz documenting children in West Belfast, Northern Ireland during the years of political and religious strife of the Troubles, the 1980s and 1990s.


Arranged in five series. I. Contact prints; II. Photographic enlargements; III. Slides; IV. Papers, and V. Negatives.


Gift of Michael Schwartz's sister Suzanne Ashley (2018).

Processing Information

Michael Schartz's slide collection included up to eight copies of each image. One or two representative copies have been retained for each.

Michael Schwartz Northern Ireland Photographs
1988-2014 (bulk 1988-1997)
Lynn Moulton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States