Digital Archive Collaboration Will Preserve Edinburgh’s Past

Edinburgh History

A digital archive project involving Edinburgh Council and a Leith-based heritage group will bring Edinburgh’s past to life. 

Edinburgh’s Libraries Service is collaborating with the Living Memory Association to preserve Edinburgh’s past through its digital images archive.

Edinburgh Collected is an online collection available through library service where people can browse or share photographs and memories of Edinburgh’s past. Users can also upload pictures or save them to an online scrapbook.

The online collection will host more than 2,500 pictures provided by the Leith-based association, adding to what is already the most extensive historic photography database in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh History Snapshots

The Leith-based Living Memory Association aims to bring together people’s memories of living in Edinburgh over the decades, with some photographs dating as far back as 1850. The association has been collecting old personal and family photographs for over 15 years and through its collaboration with Edinburgh Collected will open up a treasure trove of memories for Edinburgh locals.

The collection compiled by the Living Memory Association is now available on the Edinburgh Collected website, where the public can explore various memories from the city’s past, comment on pictures and also share their own memories.

Some of the images available include those taken at a Coronation Day street party in Gorgie in 1953. Other fascinating glimpses into the past show parties at a Hibs supporters club or the Transport Club in Pilrig.

In addition to photographs from various events, visitors to the website can browse through snapshots of day-to-day life in the city.

Councillor Ian Perry, Education, Children and Families Convener, said: “Edinburgh Collected is a wonderful resource for the public to share, discuss and search their memories of our city, so it’s fantastic that we’re now able to benefit from the Living Memory Association’s own collection’s rich and varied collection of images.

“From 1930’s baby portraits to Christmas parties of the ’60’s, these photographs tell the story of our past through the eyes of those who live here, and I would encourage people to take a look and share their own memories.”

Preserving the Past

Edinburgh’s Central Library is home to the largest collection of capital material and has been digitally expanded through Edinburgh Collected. Long-term, the organisation hopes to engage more local history groups that can contribute material to enhance and expand the digital resource.

The Living Memory Association also offers a range of services to help the local community, which includes tape digitising and creating ‘life story books’.

Miles Tubb, Living Memory Association Project Worker, said: “We are proud to say we have had our photo archive online since 2000 and in its 18th year, its ‘coming of age,’ it’s very exciting for us that it’s now part of Edinburgh Collected.

“It’s always been our goal to make the archive as widely available as possible. Our presence on Edinburgh Collected means we can now be part of a network of archives. The opportunity for creating a platform for local and social history archives like ours is fantastic.”



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