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£69k project launched to digitise 70,000 Salford history photos

A two-year project to digitise tens of thousands of Salford history photos is underway thanks to a £69,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The launch of the project will see community events at six libraries across the city in early 2014 to ask residents of Salford what places, streets, buildings and businesses mean the most to them.

These events will give people the chance to see a sample of the images owned by Salford City Council over the last 100 years and will focus on family friendly activities to get everyone involved.

Project staff, working with a small team of enthusiastic volunteers, will then start work on digitising Salford Local History Library’s collection of over 70,000 images.

Up to 8,000 images will be made available online to search and discover through the Salford Photos website, to be launched in autumn 2015.

Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West said, “This is a wonderful project that will open up the photo collection for the people of Salford to learn about how their city has changed over time, while safeguarding it for future generations to enjoy.”

An exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery is also planned for the end of the project, showcasing some of the images selected as well as artwork inspired by the community’s involvement.

Salford Heritage Services hope this will be a starting platform for more digital projects led by community groups in the future, as well as inspiring people to make their own records of an ever-changing city.

We spoke to Duncan McCormick at Salford Local History Library who told us: “Salford are currently the only library service in the area not to have online archives, which are essential these days.

“We shall be running a wish list for local people of their favourite photographs of Salford, so if you do have images for us, please contact us after we have finished digitising the first 8,000 images.

“Also, this will be a big benefit for the local history groups in the Salford area and we hope to be working more closely with them.”

For further details contact Local History Librarian, Duncan McCormick at Salford Local History Library, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, Salford M5 4WU or e-mail local.history@scll.co.uk.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.