Newcastle Libraries owns a large collection of old photographs and postcards. Putting these things on display where everyone can see them is a problem for libraries in general – do you put everything on the walls (unlikely, as it would take up more space than is generally available), do you just pick the best or most interesting (a bit subjective), or maybe have show a frequently (or not so frequently) changing display (not so good for occasional visitors)? Or do you do the sensible thing and scan them at reasonably high quality and put the lot on public display on the web?
There are over 6,500 images on show. I’ve barely started looking through them, but I’ve seen a lot of good things already. The images range from old paintings to recent photographs, which taken together, show the changes and development of Newcastle and the surrounding areas over the last few centuries.
It looks like they’ve still got some work to do in adding titles and descriptions to some pictures, but at least by putting them on a public site, visitors can help by adding comments identifying locations and buildings.
If you’re at all interested in local history, or just want to see what places looked like just a few decades ago, this collection is going to make you very happy.