Historic photo website reaches 100,000 milestone

The 100,000th historic photograph capturing yesteryear in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire has been added to the Picture the Past website this week.

The not-for-profit project also marked its tenth anniversary at Nottinghamshire County Council Archives on Wednesday evening. This photograph (Photo 1) of a Whit March in Arnold from 1890 was selected as the milestone image to be added to the website.

‘Picture the Past’ is a not-for-profit project, started in 2002, that aims to make historic images from the library, archives and museum collections across the whole of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, available via a completely free-to-use website.

Initially funded for three years with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the scheme is now managed and funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council.

There are photographs, postcards, engravings and paintings on the website showing how life has changed in the region over the last few hundred years giving a fascinating insight into the work and lives of the people who lived there.

The event was attended by guests including Coun John Cottee, Culture Committee Chairman for Nottinghamshire County Council, Picture the Past Chairman Robert Gent, representatives from the other local authorities and Professor John Beckett, in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham who is an expert in the history of the East Midlands. Professor Beckett gave a short speech about the importance of preserving historic images digitally.

Picture the Past’s Project Manager, Nick Tomlinson, said: “It is wonderful Picture The Past is now entering its second decade and the public interest continues year after year. Our web pages currently receive around 100,000 views a month.”

Coun John Cottee, Culture Committee Chairman for Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Picture the Past is a popular website and a fantastic resource which helps librarians and archivists to preserve pictures from our past in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

“As well as the photographs which are stocked in our collections, people contribute images which they find in attics and elsewhere to be digitised on our systems.”

Picture the Past’s offices were founded at Heanor Library in 2002, moving to the Record Office at Derbyshire County Council three years ago.

You can see all 100,000 images on the Picture the Past site by visiting: http://www.picturethepast.org.uk. For more details about events at Nottinghamshire Archives telephone: 0115 977 4401.