‘Photo Memories Organisation’ was formed in March 2013 by six founder members with the necessary skills and experience to save and share the various collections acquired by Sheila & John Moreels M.B.E. including the Ward collection and the Philipson Photographic Collection.
It has become apparent that despite the efforts of a few volunteers over the past few years the enormity of the task to restore the collection needed more volunteers and more funding.
Large organisations including universities, societies and museums have indicated a strong interest in the images and requested using the photographs on various projects. Resources and funding available to digitise, restore and research the basic original glass plates, negatives and lantern slides has been limited. Our aim is to identify, encourage and engage more smaller groups to help with the project and participate in the digitising, restoring and researching on the images.
With the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund we are now able to provide the facilities, equipment, visual material, web site and web access together with other services in order to share the scanned and restored images.
We have now digitised and identified approximately 15% of the Ward collection, the Philispon collection, the Beamish collection and the Edgar Lee collection which continues to enthral us with the vast array of images of the North of England. The brilliant talents of the artists, engravers and photographers have captured unique images which take us back in time to love and appreciate life in the region for the past 300 years. (The other collections acquired are still awaiting inspection and investigation.)
Due to the numerous contributions from people who have already helped with the updating of the images, we can provide some notes and observations which enhance the brief notes accompanying the photographs on this website and other publications. We are aware that many publications and editorials have been used by these volunteers and unfortunately too many for us to list or even be aware of for their inclusion on this website. We also believe that the facts provided to us have been researched and are factually correct, but we cannot be certain or guarantee them. Our appreciation goes to the researchers and contributors and to the fantastic array of local and national material which have provided the interesting comments. We would urge all of our visitors to regard our website and books as a picture resource and use the images to obtain more knowledge and information relating to the specific scene or historic view. If you discover new information, wish to add comments or share your memories relating to any image, please add them to our comments section adjacent to the photograph.
You are now invited to engage with the archive and learn about your heritage by sharing memories, participating in presentations and events while having a very enjoyable experience. Groups will be interested in the sense of their place and utilise the images for projects while providing us with the interesting stories behind the images.
There is still over 120,000 + images to be scanned and restored and it will take the current team many years to complete the task. We need your help to research the photographs and add your comments and memories to this website. Together we can record the history of our region.
Your continued help and support is very much appreciated.