Monday 17 October 2011

'Mystery' photographs, much head-scratching and debate at the Record Office!

When we asked for help sorting a backlog of unidentified photographs an intriguing journey into Cheshire’s past began. This is the story so far…

The initial aim of the project was to add more photos to our existing digital collection Picture Cheshire and raise awareness of the fantastic original material available here at the Record Office and in Cheshire Libraries. The first stage began in August when twelve members of NADFAS volunteered to organise hundreds of photographs according to place. The photographs contained a mix of subjects - people, places, buildings, streets, events and more (even some of a garden hedge and vintage graffiti!). Thanks to their efforts over 90% were identified, and just one box remained ‘unknown’.

We then realised that there was great scope for involving the general public in this project, and set about creating a Flickr exhibition of a selection of these ‘mystery’ images. By opening up the debate in this way we hope not only to identify these photographs but also add to our existing knowledge of Cheshire.

The next stage involves our volunteers packaging the photos to preserve them. We can then take them out to libraries across the county. We hope that local people will enjoy scrutinising them and will be able to contribute information, memories and anecdotes about the people and places featured in the photos. Watch out for a collection coming to a library near you! In the meantime, if you can help with any suggestions about these three images, please comment below or why not take a look at Flickr and see if you recognise any of our mystery photos?

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