c/o Derbyshire County Council
- Phone: 01773 716967
The libraries and museums of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have in their collections, hundreds of thousands of historic photographs, slides, negatives, glass plates, postcards and engravings recalling the history of the local communities over the last hundred years and more. In the past, these treasures were held in filing cabinets and anyone who wanted to see them would have to make a trip to the library or museum - perhaps to several different locations. Thanks to a major award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the four authorities are now working in partnership to digitise the images and make them available on the Internet, through the unique Picture the Past website. The project began when staff from the four library authorities put their heads together to come up with ways of making the collections more easily accessible to everyone, while protecting the images, many of which are fragile and irreplaceable, from wear and tear. The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, backed up with funding from the four councils involved, is enabling people all over the world to log on and see the collections, while ensuring that the originals are properly conserved for future generations. Local studies librarians have been busily trying to sort out the copyright for individual images. In many cases, it is the library that owns the copyright, but many thousands of letters have been sent out to other copyright holders, seeking their permission to make their images available on the Website. With their co-operation, users of the Picture the Past Website are able not only to see the images they are interested in, but also to print copies if they wish. A printed copy from a home computer is perfectly adequate for homework or study purposes, but for those users wanting to own a top quality glossy photographic copy the Picture the Past website includes an on-line ordering service. This enables users to browse the collection and order and pay for their selections securely on-line. The prints are produced on state of the art equipment and despatched by first class post. All the income raised from this service goes back into the conservation and preservation of the original pictures. There are some images in the collection that haven't been identified and Picture the Past welcomes help from members of the public in providing any further information.
24 hrs Online: www.picturethepast.org.uk
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