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Ayrshire Connect

Kilmarnock Picture House Project

The primary purpose of this project is to create an archive the photos taken by the people of Kilmarnock as they work, rest, play and celebrate. Across the town there are thousands of photos of places, events, businesses, factories and people that have been stuffed in the back of drawers and cupboards. These photos are a record of the social and industrial history of our town and communities. They have been taken on the factory floors and celebrations of Massey Fergusons, BMK and so many others.

How will we do this?

Our aim is to crowd source images from our community by asking people to lend us their old photos and provide as much information about where they were taken, who is in them and when they were taken as they can. The project will create electronic copies of these images and related information that can be searched for via the internet. A Wikipedia of pictures in Kilmarnock.

Volunteers would scan the images and tag them with the information that is provided. Once an image is put online people would be asked to provide additional information. The project would also organise open days and visits to schools, care homes and community groups allowing for cross generational work and skills transfer. Younger people providing the skills on using the internet and databases and older people providing the information to make the photos come alive.

This skills transfer would allow older people to get involved directly with curating the content of this archive. It would also give younger people a greater understand of their local area. We would also actively engage with local camera clubs and schools across the community to gather images of everyday life today. This will help the community to appreciate the changes that have taken place in even a short period of time. It will also allow us to record the events that take place in our communities and share them with other across the world.

Where will this be done? This would primarily be an online resource with open access for non-commercial purposes. We would need to engage with an IT company to create the infrastructure required to create an archive that is simple to use and is able to expand as required. This archive would become a resource for any group that requires images of our community. One example would be memory groups that could use the images to start conversations in groups and could also provide vital information about the images being discussed.

Why should we do this

  • Recording the social history of our community
  • Provide a resource to local groups
  • Cross generational work
  • Improve mental health of older people
  • Improving younger peoples understand of their local history.
  • Bring the photos that are in the archives of factories and businesses in Kilmarnock on to the Web so they can be viewed more widely and enjoyed.

How do we get started? There are already a couple of Facebook pages where old photos of Kilmarnock are shared and discussed. We would engage with the owners of these pages and build on this. As our aim is not to replaces these but create a permanent searchable resource that is sustainable and in community ownership. 



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