Thursday, July 04, 2013

SEAS Seaside Photography Archive

If like us, you do like to be beside the seaside, then the South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography archive should have you reaching for a bucket and spade! Thanks to a wad of Heritage Lottery Funding, the initiative was established in 2012 at Canterbury Christ University in coastal Kent. An archivist immediately went to work sifting through the many images of the area around the South East, organising these images into two collections and digitising much of what he discovered for the SEAS website. The archive is still growing with new images gradually being added every month.

The first collection is The Sunbeam Collection which contains the glass and film negatives of what was Sunbeam, the largest photography firm of its time in the region. The second, Walkies Collection, comprises casual photographs taken on sunny, seaside strolls by Sunbeam photographers which were not regarded as worthy of archiving by the company but which are fascinating for the insight they provide into local heritage. 

All of the images in The Sunbeam Collection are in copyright meaning permission would be required for reproduction. No such disclaimer is evident for the Walkies Collection, making images such as this one of a boy on Muffin the Mule at Margate, available to cite in project-work. Browse here for inspiration.

We adore the cheerful mood in these pictures of local people and families going about domestic life. The sun shines in many of the snaps which must have put some joy into the everyday job of the archivist whose duty it is to sort out hundreds of negatives.

Oh to be by the seaside...!