Robert John Welch was an Irish photographer interested in natural history, particularly mollusca.
Welch, born in Strabane, County Tyrone, was the son of an accomplished Scottish amateur photographer.
He specialised in outdoors photography and took thousands of photographs of the towns and scenery of Ireland. He was a skilled craftsman and his studies of Ireland and Irish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are today justly famous. In 1923 to recognise his work Queen"s University Belfast awarded him an honorary Master of Science degree.
He was hired by the shipyard Harland and Wolff to take photographs of the constructions of Royal Microscopical Society Royal Mail Steamer Olympic and Royal Microscopical Society Royal Mail Steamer Titanic.
Welch was a member of the Royal Irish Academy as well as serving as president of both the Belfast Naturalists" Field Club and the Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland.