View Over 23,000 Historical Photos Available here


About the Historical Picture Archives

The Historical Picture Archive is an Irish based company with a unique collection of circa 100 year old photographs taken worldwide.
The photographic images are available as pictures (mounted or framed, individually or as part of a combination picture), placemats and coasters.
Our Irish collection, being our most extensive, is represented by “Places”, “Irish Life & Businesses” and “Family Names”.

Mounted Prints

With our images pre-dating colour photography, many were hand tinted at the time. All coloured images can be reprinted in sepia tone at no charge if required by email request. All our prints are dry-mounted on backing board – this prevents paper buckling often caused by paper variations.


Digital images are available by email request.

Framed Prints

Framed prints for export are finished with acrylic glass for safety purposes.

For the unique picture we specialise in combination or multiple framed prints. These are offered in a number of different configurations including 2 in 1, 3 in 1, or 4 in 1. See combination pictures below.

Normally, a choice of six frame types are available for online order, but a greater range of frame types are often available upon a visit to our work shop –  Contact us for details.

Combination pictures

Our combination pictures offer a UNIQUE method to create an artwork that can be tailored to the recipients personal background, be it geographical, historical, or recreational. The pictures are ideally suited for the ultimate wedding,retirement , anniversary present – their individuality will not be capable of being surpassed. The ” three in one ” , whether it be landscape or portrait, offers an opportunity to create a wedding present that is personal to both the bride and groom, The middle image could be of the church or their future home location. A descriptive title plaque or insert is a possibility.

Placemats & Coasters

With over 1300 different Placemat & Coaster sets, the Historical Picture Archive has the world’s largest range of table mats available. Our Irish focus allows us to offer 850 unique placemat sets for Ireland.


Set Sizes


Coasters11.5cm x 9.0cm


European size 26.75cm x 20.5cm


American size 38cm x 29.5cm


We are currently expanding our range internationally, and currently also have sets of the following places:

  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Hampshire
  • Channel Islands
  • Nice
  • Île de Porquerolles
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • Monaco
  • Zermatt
  • Davos
  • Tenerife
  • Madeira

2016 will see the continued expansion of our Placemat range, largely determined by demand.

With constant enquiries from the Hotel & Restaurant trade all our Placemats are now made using Melamine, a superior quality material. Melamine Placemats are produced at a very high temperature and pressure for one hour before being allowed to slowly cool for a further five hours before being cork backed. The result of this process is an extremely durable and heat-resistant Placemat that will last and last.

Apart from the standard sized Placemat, we also produce a larger American (or serving dish) size. These are made to order and require up to five weeks’ notice for manufacturing purposes.

It is also possible to personalise Placemats for weddings, corporate events or for hotel and restaurant use on a made to order basis. Individual names or event details can be printed on the border of the Placemat, making it a memento and as a bespoke alternative to the ordinary place setting card.

Irish Life Categories

This section is unique to our archive and illustrates over 900 different occupations and sociological depictions of Irish life circa 100 years ago.
It is constantly used as a source by publishers, documentary and feature film makers, artists, historians, designers, the legal profession, etc.
Many of the categories featured, such as Poitín making, depict scenes that have since disappeared from contemporary Irish life.

Irish Business and Family Names

This section contains the fruits of a painstaking study of our Irish archive has revealed over 1,600 different business and family names, many no longer found. These can be seen on shop fronts, public transport and in advertisements.

For a full list of names click here.

Delivery Times

90% of orders received are dispatched by courier or post within one business day. Exceptions to this would be for combination prints and other bespoke orders that are made-to-order and require additional time as a result. Please contact us with any queries concerning product availability or delivery times.

Corporate Facility

The uniqueness, diversity and sheer range of our collection, whether used as Pictures or Placemats, enables us to meet the most demanding or individual requirements.

For Hotels: We can supply different Pictures for a 100+ bedroom hotel, be they depicting either places or themes, whilst customising and supplying different Placemats in dining rooms catering for 80+ guests.

Individualised Placemats can be produced for conferences and weddings.


Wholesale prices are available for single (not combinations) pictures, either mounted or framed, placemats and coasters. Established wholesale clients can avail of 30 days credit.


Our outlets, found across the country, usually hold stock relating to their own town or village, or sometimes neighbouring places. It is best to ring first to check availability which is usually of placemats and coasters.

Gift Presentation

Messages and gift wrapping is offered free for special occasions, e.g. birthdays, Christmas, etc.