Project Archive

Western Morning News Archive (Heritage Lottery Funded project)

In 2007, the Plymouth Barbican Association successfully acquired Heritage Lottery funding to undertake a project to preserve and digitise a collection of glass plates and transparencies which were passed on to the Association by the Western Morning News. Over two million individual items form part of the collection of which a target of 20,000 were to be catalogued by the grant expiry date of 30th June 2009.

The greatest outcome we have seen throughout the two years has been working alongside our wonderful team of volunteers. Our volunteers have grown steadily since first beginning the project; 26 individuals are now on board with us ranging from local history enthusiasts, local photographers, university and college students who have chosen to undertake their work experience placements with us and individuals with learning difficulties who are benefitting from skills development opportunities through their work with SWiB. We have also provided consultancy to other establishments in the region looking to initiate similar projects including the Tavistock Photo Archive, Royal Cornwall Museum and the Stoke Damerel School Photographic Archive Project.

Read more about this project here.


Theatre in Plymouth Exhibition Project

Exhibition, 'Theatre in Plymouth', hosted by the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. The exhibition ran from February to March 2008.

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Hidden City Festival Project

Exhibition pieces, part of the 'Hidden City Festival', hosted by Part Exchange Co. at various locations within the City, 29 September to 5 October 2008.

For more details on the ongoing work following the Festival see here


Plymouth Argyle Exhibition Project

This two month long exhibition featured selected images taken from our archive collections reproduced as quality canvas prints and hosted by the Masa Fine Art Gallery. Officially opened by Gordon Sparks and running from November 23rd - end of December 2008

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For more details on the PA Exhibition see here and here.


Pre-war Plymouth Project

In february 2008, SWiB acquired, through Chris Robinson, an incomplete pre-war model of Plymouth started by the late David Moore some 10-20 years ago. Charlie Sells, much valued friend of SWiB and local model-maker and pattern-maker agreed to complete the model for Chris and the image bank.

After considerable effort and determination from Charlie, the model was completed in July 2009 and took pride of place at our recent Western Morning News Project Celebration.

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1) Charlie Sells, with the completed model 2) Mrs Moore, wife of the late David Moore with the completed model at SWiB

The model, and it's associated archive is now accessible on-site at SWiB. The photographic records will soon be featured on our online galleries Page.

For more information about this project see:

Model of Pre-War Plymouth


Barbican Exhibition Project - (Funded by the Virginia House Settlement)

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During the Summer of 2009, SWiB acquired a grant from the Virginia House Settlement to undertake an educational exhibition project showcasing a selection of images of the Barbican from our collections at various venues in the area.

Emma Taylor, SWiB Work Placement Volunteer worked to develop the project by selecting images from the SWiB archives for display and canvassing the Barbican area for support. Many local businesses supported the project and agreed to display the images as quality reproductions for the visiting public to engage with:

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, near Southside Street, Barbican
Monty's Bistro and Cafe, Southside Street, Barbican
The Kaya Gallery, Southside Street, Barbican
RNLI Shop, Madeira Road, Barbican
The Tourist Information Centre, Southside Street, Barbican
Bretonside Copy, Bretonside
SWiB search room, 32 Looe Street, Barbican

The outcome of this project was to enhance people's understanding of the Barbican area and more specifically the work of Nancy Lady Astor. During the project, our Archivist delivered tailored presentations to schools and community groups making use of the images reproduced for display.


Plymouth University Project 'Collaborative Practice' (Inspiring Learning for All)

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Project Brief: January - March 2010. Supported by Plymouth University, students pursuing the BA Hons Photography Degree will be required to develop individual photographic practice with a collaborative partner. This could be another practitioner from another discipline, a graphic designer or an external organisation; archives, museums and libraries. SWiB has agreed to provide external support for this module and help develop the individual projects undertaken by the students.

Project Overview: To offer collaborative opportunities to Plymouth University Photography Degree Students in part fulfillment of their Collaborative Practice Module. They will work with SWiB over a period of 8 weeks to create new works which will serve to compliment a chosen archival collection or set of collections at SWiB. The students will undertake appropriate research throughout this period and seek ongoing consultancy with SWiB. The individual projects will be entirelly self-initiated and individually developed into a professionally resolved outcome of benefit to all parties.

Project Outcomes: The students will gain an appreciation of archives and access to them. They will be encouraged to consider using alternative methods of photography such as film and pin-hole, in creating their own contemporary archives to be added to the existing collections at SWiB.

Fundamentally for SWiB, this project will enable us to demonstrate the value of the work we are doing to preserve traditional archives and will show, through ongoing collaborations, how we are supporting emerging photographers in their professional career development. This project will serve to illustrate how our existing collections can be used to encourage new work thereby establishing ongoing legacies for the future. This project will help us to engage new audiences who will benefit from having immediate access to all the collections in our care.

View full details about this project here.


Cooperative Society Exhibition (Knowledge Transfer Project)

Summer 2009 - June 2010

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Project overview: Lucy Hill, SWiB Work Placement Volunteer and Falmouth University BA Student has been entrusted with the task of developing an exhibition for the Cooperative Society Anniversary to take place in Plymouth, 2010. Lucy will liase closely with Cooperative Society personnel and members of the public towards a successful final exhibition.

View full details about this project here.


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