Findmypast – Photographic Collection

Findmypast

Findmypast launch vast new photographic collection in celebration of VE Day 2020

  • Findmypast publish new online photographic archive in partnership with the UK’s largest news publisher Reach plc
  • Over 10,000 original images from WWII, many which have never been published before, will offer vivid new insights into a nation at war
  • The Findmypast Photo collection will scale over the coming years to include millions of images taken between 1904 – 2000, covering all aspects of British life ranging from sports, education, places of work and daily life to politics, national and local events
  • The collection is now available for anyone to search for free from May 8th to May 15th, in celebration of VE Day 2020

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has announced the launch of a ground-breaking new project in partnership with Reach plc. 

Digitised and published online for the first time as a complete standalone collection in celebration of VE Day 2020, the Findmypast Photo collection is made up of more than 10,000 original images from Reach’s archives. Managed through Reach PLC’s content licensing agency, Mirrorpix, this huge vault of press photography dates from the earliest years of the 20th Century up to the present day and is one of most significant photographic records of British history in the world.

The collection consists of original images from press photographers who documented the 1939-45 conflict at home and overseas for nine national and regional titles, including the Daily Mirror, Scottish Daily Record, Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo during the years of the Second World War.

Many of these images have never before been published, providing new opportunities to explore how families and communities experienced the war. Original image descriptions created by the photographers still survive and much of this information has been indexed and made fully searchable on Findmypast. This enables users to bring the past to life with ease, speed and accuracy by searching thousands of images by keyword, date, and location as well as by category, such as the Armed forces, World War 2, Evacuees, Home Front, Sport, Life Events, Work or Schools.

Interest in online family history continues to grow and there are now more tools and resources for tracing ancestors than ever before. Despite this, discovering images relevant to an individual’s family tree remains challenging with very few resources available online.

Findmypast and Reach PLC aim to change this by providing public access to these never before seen photographs. The Daily Mirror built its brand on being Britain’s daily photographic journal and has been documenting the nation’s social history for over 100 years. Now, for the first time, anyone can step back through time to see people, places and events as they were more than 70 years ago.

In digitising this valuable photographic record and making it available to the public, Findmypast and Mirrorpix are not only expanding the nation’s understanding and interpretation of historical events, but also conserving them for future generations.

Today’s release forms the first phase of a vast collection that will continue to grow as Findmypast and Reach publish additional material covering a wide variety of dates, locations and themes. In time, the Findmypast Photo collection will expand in scope and scale to include millions of images taken between 1904 – 2000, covering all aspects of British Life ranging from sports, education, places of work and daily life to politics, national and local events.

Tamsin Todd, CEO of Findmypast said: “Findmypast’s mission is to help as many people as possible to discover how they’re uniquely connected, not only to each other but also to defining moments from our history. The 75th anniversary of V.E Day is a momentous occasion that will inspire many to question their own connections to the defining moments of history. Genealogy allows anyone to personalise the past, and in providing access to these valuable never before seen images, we look forward to helping users create more magical moments of discovery that can shape their futures and add greater meaning to the connections they make. 

Jim Mullen, CEO of Reach plc said: “Every minute of every day, our newsbrands are serving hundreds of communities across the UK, publishing the news that matters to them, their friends and their families. Every single one of those communities has multiple deep connections to the story of VE Day and the years leading directly up to it. Our newsbrands covered those events as they happened and by publishing our VE Day collections with FMP today we’re able to share those stories once again, re-connecting people to their own family history. Stories that perhaps they had forgotten or maybe never even knew, until now.

Speaking from personal experience I can say that any journey to the Reach archives is a wonderful adventure into the past. Our collections are home to tales of the people, places and events – great and small – that shaped modern Britain. Those tales are just waiting to be discovered and Reach are delighted that from now on we can share that adventure with all of you.

The Findmypast photo collection is completely free to search and explore from May 8th to May 15th. To learn about the collection and what it contains, please visit: https://www.findmypast.co.uk/page/vintage-photo-collection

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