About Swib

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First Steps:

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Stacey Dyer
Manager/Archivist/Web Admin.

Following the war, a committee was set up to challenge local authority proposals to demolish many of the historic properties in the City. Combining forces with members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and ‘The Old Plymouth Society’, the committee formed the ‘Plymouth Barbican Association’ (PBA) in 1957.

To celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, and armed with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the directors of the association set up the ‘South West Image Bank (SWiB)’, a photographic archive conveniently housed in one of the PBA’s restored grade II Elizabethan premises in Looe Street.



Our Core objectives:

1) To acquire, preserve and digitally restore photographic collections pertaining to the region for present and future historical research and enquiry.
2) To work with similar heritage-based initiatives in the community towards the mutually beneficial exhibition of our collections, further complemented through our online galleries, on-site public search room delivery, and other outreach activities.
3) To create a digital archive of our collections via in-house cataloguing and scanning work on to a searchable database, allowing for world-wide access to our collections.

Find out what people are saying about our work via our feedback page.


SWiB actively seeks to provide an accessible means by which the public can engage with images relating to the people, and places of the regions past. At present we have 25 volunteers who are busy cataloguing, scanning and preserving our main collection under the supervision of a full-time qualified Archivist.

Discover more about our volunteers.


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All rights reserved. Site design supported by Rob Elliott at Strathview Consultants