The Morrab Library is currently engaged in a project to digitise our Photographic Archive. The catalogue is available online, although not all entries have scans attached to them yet.
We have about 15,000 photographs relating to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with a strong focus on West Penwith, Penzance and Newlyn. Its topics document every aspect of life spanning 160 years including rare glimpses into the social lives of people in early-Victorian Penzance.
The digitisation project is currently being undertaken by volunteers, adhering to professional digital archiving standards. We have recently increased the volunteer team from four to eleven and each volunteer is currently being trained in the techniques of archival scanning and cataloguing.
We have now combined our many databases into a single new computerised catalogue. We are working to improve each catalogue entry with more information and mapping data where a location is known.
The new catalogue may currently be consulted in the Photographic Archive. It does not yet contain many scanned photographs as the work is just beginning.
We are currently applying for funding to help us with the many aspects of this project. If you would like to support this project and contribute to the free online access and conservation of 15,000 photographs then we would love to hear from you.
Through a kind grant from the Dennis Myner Trust, we have been able to fit out our new Photographic Archive room with bespoke conservation-grade photographic storage cabinets from museum suppliers Polstore. The grant also allowed us to acquire servers, backup systems, computers, and professional scanning equipment from Epson, Nikon and Fujitsu, capable of digitising every kind of visual material in our possession. Through the Library’s limited funds we have engaged professional services to design our digitisation infrastructure, workflows, and volunteer training.
Our archival scanned images reside on a dedicated server with redundant disks and versioned backup routines.