Image © Mirrorpix

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford has worked in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture to digitise nearly 50,000 never before seen photographs, front and back, to bring the vast Daily Herald Archive to life through new online stories and a visual experiment on the platform.  

The collaborative project adds 100,000 new images and 35,000 new records to the Science Museum Group’s online collection and increases access to this vast collection of historic images. The newly digitised images will also be showcased in 25 online stories on the Google Arts & Culture platform alongside a visual interactive experiment as well as 15 new stories on the National Science and Media Museum’s website. 

The new online stories bring the archival photos in the Daily Herald Archive to life by providing a unique look into British society and industry during the mid-20th century. Some of the stories shed light on historic periods like the campaign for a universal pension, or the rent strikes in the 1930s, while others share quirkier moments like a prize-winning giant cabbage, the world’s largest tyre (in 1931) or a 16ft beanstalk. The stories also uncover ones that have often been left untold like the long history of the Romani community in southeast England. 

The historic digitisation will be celebrated with an official launch event at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford on 12 October. Invited guests and press will be given an exclusive preview of the newly digitised images, the online exhibit, and an interactive experiment along with the opportunity to visit the physical archive in the museum.  

Commenting on the collaboration, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director of the National Science and Media Museum said: “The Daily Herald Archive is one of the gems of our collection with over 3 million items from the newspaper that provide an incredible visual history of the first half of the 20th century. The digitisation project marks a major milestone for our museum by adding 100,000 new images to our collection and 35,000 new online records, providing wider access to the Science Museum Group’s largest public collection.  

Thanks to our collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, we can share this remarkable archive more widely and truly bring the collection to life through fascinating stories and the interactive visualisation.”  

Amit Sood, Director of Google Arts & Culture added: "Our collaboration with the National Science and Media Museum is a fantastic opportunity to explore one of their core collections in new, creative ways. The advancements in digitisation, coupled with algorithmic extraction and cutting edge AI allows users to explore a vast photo archive that captures a unique and captivating snapshot of British life." 

The Daily Herald was once the world’s top selling newspaper, and today its photographic archive is held by the Science Museum Group at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The archive provides a rich visual history comprising of over 3 million items with prints from press agencies and freelance photographers alongside work created by Daily Herald staff photographers. The collection also includes 100,000 glass plate negatives and Day Books detailing the assignments allocated to the staff photographers. 

The digitisation of the photo archive comes at a time when the Science Museum Group, which includes the National Science and Media Museum, continues to improve online access to its collections. Online audiences can explore more than 300,000 objects and archives through the Group’s popular online collection, which receives more than 110,000 visits each month and more than five million visits since its launch in December 2016.  

The digitisation and public enjoyment of the Daily Herald Archive has been made possible in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture.  

The Daily Herald Archive project and experiment will be live at https://goo.gle/dailyheraldarchive on 12 October.   

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Child playing in mirror maze in Wonderlab © Science Museum Group

The National Science and Media Museum, in the heart of Bradford, explores the science and culture of light and sound technologies and their impact on our lives.

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