6,000 old Bradford photos available to buy online

Article dated Thursday Aug 16, 2018 at 11:32 AM

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People from across the world will now be able to buy digitised photographs of the Bradford district and beyond, online from the Bradford Museums Photo Archive.

Photographs from this incredible Bradford Council archive are now available to buy online for the first time.

The official launch of the archive’s website, which contains around 6,000 digitised images, including aerial shots of the North of England including the Bradford district, iconic buildings and famous faces from Bradford’s past, as well as local people at work and at play, will take place at the Bradford Industrial Museum 15 August.

With just a few clicks people can own and print out copies of iconic, historic or quirky images for only £6.

The launch is the culmination of over 30 years hard work by the council’s Museums and Galleries Service, acquiring the collections for the archive and, over the last four years, working in partnership with TMD Friction (formerly Mintex), Bradford College, iBase Media Services Ltd, Maraid Design and Bradford City of Film to digitise the images and set up the website. The project was also aided by a grant from Museum Development Yorkshire.

TMD Friction helped the council to acquire photo capture equipment to accelerate the digitisation programme. Students from Bradford College took part in photographic projects. iBase Media Services Ltd from Ilkley, are the web hosts and database experts on the project and Maraid Design from York are the website designers. Bradford City of Film have given the project a city centre presence, by showing the images on the Big Screen in Centenary Square.

Invited to the launch are the Lord Mayor of Bradford Coun Zafar Ali, councillors, current and former council officers who have been involved in the project, local photographers and supporters including Ian Beesley and Tim Smith and representatives from project’s partner organisations.

The launch will include a practical demonstration showing how easy it is to purchase one or more images from the new website, as well as a display of the most popular photographs from several collections within vast photographic archive.

The archive holds collections from C.H Wood, the famous Bradford photographer who produced thousands of images of the people and places of the Bradford district and the North of England for over three quarters of a century.

There are also images taken by the eminent Bradford industrialist Christopher Pratt. His images give a unique view of the city’s society and industry just prior to the First World War.

Images from the Belle Vue Studio also form part of the archive. The Bell Vue Studio collection is mainly made up of images of the people who came to live and work in Bradford from all over the world. Individuals, couples and families were keen to have their photographs taken and sent back to relatives. The images reflect the desire to show material success in a new country.

Over the summer the Big Screen in Centenary Square will be displaying a selection of images from the archive and highlighting the new online shop.

Bradford Council’s photo archive is one of the largest in the country and holds over half a million images which are gradually being digitised. The project to digitise the archive began in 2014 and so far there are over 6,000 photographs which have been digitised and are available to buy from the website.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “Having our images made easily accessible to the public, not only to see but also to buy, is the culmination of years of hard work by council officers and partners.

“The launch event will be a celebration and also a thank you to all the individuals and organisations who have assisted our Bradford Museums & Galleries Service with this captivating project.

“This is a fascinating look in to our recent and not so recent past and I am sure people will be fascinated by the images available.

“I would urge anyone with a connection to Bradford to go online and have a look through the images available. They might even find aerial images of their house, nostalgic photos of favourite places or even photos of their relatives and ancestors.”

People can view and purchase images at https://photos.bradfordmuseums.org/

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