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Readers consulted over daily’s million photo archive campaign

Readers are being consulted on how a regional daily can best utilise its 100-yer-old old archive containing around a million photographs.

The Express & Star, Wolverhampton, has launched a survey to give readers their say on what types of images from the archive would interest them most as part of a project to digitise the collection.

The results of the consultation will allow the group working on the project to prioritise its initial work.

It is hoped the outcome will show if our readers are most interested in historic photos of local personalities, sport, war, buildings and landmarks or crime and punishment.

One of the photos from the Express & Star's archives from 1958

One of the photos from the Express & Star’s archives from 1958

The team also wants to know if readers would be interested to attend talks on the photos, see education sessions set up for schools, colleges and universities or join guided town walks and heritage trails.

The project has so far received more than £80,000 of funding from sources including the newspaper’s publisher the Midland News Association, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the University of Wolverhampton.

The photos, once digitised, will be freely available for the public to view online.

Editor Keith Harrison told readers: “Photographers from the Express & Star have been on hand to photograph events and communities across the Black Country for more than a century.

“This collection documents the people who make this region so great and the history they share.

“Readers can play a vital part in the next stage of the project by giving their views on how the archive can be best used by local communities.

“These pictures tell hundreds of thousands of stories. We want you to tell us how these stories can be best shared with future generations.”

The closing date for completed surveys is Friday 21 August.


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  • July 28, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Pity the Manchester Evening News didn’t adopt such a thoughtful approach when they closed their editorial library 10 years ago. The entire archive ended up in builders’ skips in the van yard.

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  • July 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    What a fantastic archive. One way to make the most of it is to adopt the “crowd-captioning” approach used by which allows viewers to tag images with location details and other comments.

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  • July 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    The biggest crime in newspapers has been the ditching of the archives. Newspapers owners don’t know the treasure trove they are sitting upon and the money they could make from them. But it looks like, as with the MEN, the opportunity has been lost because of short-sightedness. And that from a paper which got all uppity when Manchester Library was ditching lots of books.

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