HISTORIC photographs from the Visual Resources Centre can now be viewed online at the centre’s new Historypin site.
Images of Oxford Road in 1929, the Royal Northern College of Music in 1976 and Cavendish Street Chapel and School in 1972 are among the Centre’s most popular.
Historypin uses Google Street View technology to overlay old photographs onto their modern-day geographic sites.
A fader control allows users to adjust the opacity of the superimposed images, and they can interact by saving and sharing their favourites and adding notes.
John Davis, Curator of Visual Resources, is hoping that the site will not only encourage wider participation but will also inspire student projects to develop further content.
He said: “I’m always on the lookout for new ways to showcase the Visual Resources Centre’s remarkable image collections, and to demonstrate their value to a range of different audiences.
“I’ve been using the photo-sharing website Flickr as a way of making images from the collections available both to the MMU academic community and to the wider public, and I’ve been delighted by the response – the images have attracted nearly 400,000 views since the first set was uploaded in June 2010.
"However, Flickr is aimed at a general audience, and I could also see the potential for creating a more historically-focused resource based on the Centre’s images of Manchester and the surrounding area."
John continued: “As a historian, I’m particularly interested in the power of photographs to evidence change in the urban environment, and that’s exactly what the Historypin site is good at.
“The map-based approach to organising content and the integration with Google Street View makes it possible to compare photos of the same location taken at different periods, graphically illustrating how our everyday surroundings are in a state of flux.
“Furthermore, the ability to create individual ‘channels’ means that the Visual Resources Centre has its own customised Historypin micro-site, and I hope that students and academic colleagues will want to help develop it by contributing content and collaborating in projects to create themed image collections and virtual guided tours.”
To visit the site, click here.
Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy.
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