In September 2015 Cornwall Heritage Trust awarded Morrab Library a grant of £3,000.
The aim of the project was to preserve and improve access to the Stanley Opie Archaeology Collection which consists of 1003 glass negatives covering many aspects of Cornwall’s past, allowing wider appreciation of Cornwall’s shared heritage through these very well-taken photographs.
The photographs were taken between 1928 and the early 1950s, and include several of the sites looked after by the Cornwall Heritage Trust today. These include Carn Euny, Tregiffian Entrance Grave, and Trethevy Quoit. They are very well taken photographs and largely unpublished.
Stanley Opie photographed a great deal of sites, people, and landscapes across Cornwall and these will be of great interest to those engaged with Cornish archaeology; as well as to those in the communities nearby.
Morrab Library have their own bespoke photographic storage and digitisation suite, thereby giving them all the facilities required to undertake this project. The grant from Cornwall Heritage Trust paid for the archival packaging required as well as for the scanning, condition checking and repackaging of all the negatives as well as providing training to volunteers to enable this type of work to continue and the Library’s online archive to grow.
Archivist Tom Goskar commented: “This is an important step for the Library as it will allow us to eventually share all of our 15,000 historic photographs of Cornwall with the world. Cornwall Heritage Trust’s funding has been the important ‘seed’ allowing us to do this.”
The Opie collection is the first complete collection to be made available online by Morrab Library and is free for all to view over the internet or in the Library itself. Completion of this important piece of work is expected in May 2016.
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