Reference collection

Search copy and reference images and associated resources

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What are copy or reference images?

Original objects, images, or documents that the meet the criteria of our museum acquisition policy are normally accessioned into our museum collection. Sometimes we come across material that don't quite meet the criteria, but are still of value and interest for reference and research. We retain these as our copy and reference collection. There are many reasons why an image or documents is added to the copy and reference collection, rather than accessioned museum collection; the most common being:

  • The museum doesn't own the original item - only a digital copy. Often an image is loaned to the museum for copying, then returned to its owner
  • The museum has a print of a photograph, but it is obviously a copy made a long time after the photograph was taken
  • Information about an image is sketchy, it may be unclear what it shows or where it was taken, or it is uncertain who owns the rights to the image.
  • The image or document is of poor quality, and perhaps a better version already exists in the museum collection

The copy and reference collection is safeguarded in a similar way to the museum collection. It might be that following research, or the passage of time, the significance of individual copy/reference items becomes clearer, and may then be transfered to the accessioned museum collection.

The copy and reference collection items that are shared through this website are done so with the consent of those who have shared these with us. We make these available to the general public under the same terms of Creative Commons licence as apply to the rest of this website, unless otherwise noted.

Help us to extend the collection

We understand that old photographs and documents are sometimes treasured family records that are handed down the generations. Families might be happy that these are shared publicly but wish to retain the original the item rather than passing it for permanent preservation within a museum. In those instances we would be delighted to accept digital copies of these items, or ideally be given opportunity to make our own digital copy to professional standards. If visiting the museum we can arrange this on a while-you-wait basis.

Many old photographs and documents are of relevance and interest to many. We would greatly welcome any the opportunity to preserve or copy any relevant material and share it through this website for the information and enjoyment of many.