Keeping you in the picture

Local historians are set to gain access to thousands of new images of the borough, taken by the Tameside Reporter over the years.

Thanks to a successful application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a grant has been secured to digitise and catalogue 26,000 negatives from our Reporter collection, which is held by the local studies and archives service.

The work will be done by volunteers as part of the “SMILE! Reporting Tameside’s Social History” project, which is a partnership including Tameside Council, the Reporter and Jigsaw Homes Group.

The collection will be available from next year. 

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive lead for culture, said: "This is very exciting news. For many decades the Reporter’s photographers were constantly out in the borough, capturing its history on traditional film that is no longer used in the digital age. The lottery grant means that we’ll be able to protect that history and make it available.

“In putting together this project, our local studies service placed its key emphasis on sharing the images as widely as possible. Building lasting relationships with residents and communities is central to what we want to do."

She added: “Volunteers will get training in valuable skills including social media, working with different materials, and other digital expertise. The project will also provide an opportunity to broaden the range of people who engage with heritage in Tameside.

“Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the support of this project.”

The work is needed because the Reporter negatives, which provide a key visual record of Tameside’s 20th century past, are not indexed.

Also, the collection is very high-risk in terms of damage and deterioration. This is especially true of the 19,000 glass negatives, which are extremely fragile.

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