Back in 2004 Manchester Libraries’ fantastic collection of over 80 000 old photographs of the city went online. This site attracts thousands of visitors.  In the last 6 months alone we had an average of 3200 visitors per month with an average of 158 900 pages per month being viewed. (Image above: Market Street, corner with High Street 1895)

Maple Street, Openshaw 1963

Images on the site are from early Victorian times onwards.  A large bulk of the pictures are of Manchester streets, many of which no longer exist as they were demolished in the slum clearances of the 1960s.   Have a look for your old street.  Many of them contain children playing etc so you may even see yourself!  A couple of library colleagues have done so.

Piccadilly Gardens, 1959

As well as browsing, visitors to the sites can order high quality prints to hang on their walls or buy as a present for relatives.   It is also a common occurrence for tv companies, publishers, galleries etc. to use our images in programmes, books, exhibitions etc. which brings in extra income and shows our images to a wider audience.  TV programmes that have used our images include Who Do You Think You Are? and a VE Day special presented by Tony Robinson.

Manchester Bus, 1930

We take donations of photographs and try to add new images as often as we can.   Some images also appear on our Flickr site which also contains images from other collections held here in Archives+ and other material.   The Flickr site also contains some images from the Town Hall Photographers Collection which has street photographs etc. from more recent times.

For further information contact: Manchester Archives and Local Studies at Central Library.