Ripon Re-Viewed is an exciting new project to preserve and
digitise 10,000 photographic images revealing over a century of life in the
City of Ripon. Dating from the 1880s to the 1980s, these remarkable collections
record the people, places, shops, schools, traditions, celebrations, events and
the everyday life of our community.
This Ripon Civic Society project has enjoyed financial support
from the Heritage Lottery Fund and been supported by North Yorkshire County Council .
A small group of volunteers has been working with experts to digitise thousands
of images, ensure that all the original collections are properly preserved and
stored, and most importantly, to create permanent online access through the Ripon Re-Viewed website, so that everyone can see and enjoy these astonishing
photographs of the people, places and events that are at the heart of the City
About the Collections
The images that will be made accessible through Ripon Re-Viewed
are made up of three separate collections, which were first brought together
during the 1980s as part of a Community History Project, set up to encourage
Ripon people to bring forward their own photographs to be copied to help build
a complete photographic record of the city. The photographs date from the early
1900s to the 1970s, and more than 5,000 images were copied onto medium format
negatives, to be catalogued, indexed and used in various outreach and
exhibition work throughout the duration of the project.
At the same time, a local photographer, Douglas Atkinson,
was a great supporter of the project, deposited a significant number of glass
plates, dating from the latter years of the 19th century and up to around 1940.
The earliest sets of these images were taken by a local chemist, Bulmer Rudd,
who photographed many of the key changes to buildings, streets, as well as
local events in and around Ripon at the turn of the century. Doug himself
continued to photograph Ripon over several decades, and much of his work was
also deposited, ensuring that his collection would remain as a lasting record
for the people of Ripon.
The collections, held in a
variety of negative formats, from glass to acetate, and in need of conservation have been inaccessible.
By undertaking vital work on the fragile original materials, Ripon Re-Viewed
has ensured the long-term preservation of the collections, and is now starting
to create new opportunities for everyone to access the collections.
About the Ripon
When the community project closed in 1988 the collections and
information were handed to Ripon Library for safekeeping, but over time the
negatives had begun to deteriorate, and were increasingly in need of
conservation and long-term preservation. Through the Ripon Re-Viewed project,
with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have been able to undertake
vital conservation work on the original collections, and re-house them in the
correct archival conditions at North Yorkshire County Records Office. Most
importantly, Ripon Re-Viewed has created a new website that gives permanent
access to the collections so that everyone can see and enjoy a compelling
visual record of our City over the past one hundred years.
Ripon Re-Viewed website
Visit us at www.riponreviewed.org
Visit us at Our new website will continue to grow over the years ahead as we add more from
RIPON’s Photographic Heritage to be Preserved and Made Accessible
thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players an astonishing collection of over
6,000 images capturing the changing face of the City of Ripon over the past
century is to be preserved, digitised, catalogued and made publicly accessible
‘Ripon Re-Viewed’ is the result of many months of work by a group of
Ripon Civic Society volunteers investigating the collections of photographic
negatives currently housed in Ripon Library.
From original glass plates dating from the 1890’s through to acetate
negatives on a whole range of formats, these collections document life in the
City through each decade of the twentieth century – the people, the places, the
buildings, the industries, major events and everyday lives of the people in
Ripon - a truly remarkable record.
The Heritage Lottery Fund award of £59,000 will enable the conservation and digitisation of the images to
be undertaken with support from North Yorkshire County Record Office. Once the digitisation is complete the original
materials will be safely stored in their archive strongrooms. The cataloguing and compiling rich descriptive
information then becomes the work of volunteers from the community, working
under the guidance of a Project Manager.
We hope this will be great opportunity for people to get involved – the
images themselves will prompt plenty of memories and information from the
people of Ripon, and collating accurate, detailed and interesting information
will create the opportunity for people to search and find the images that
relate to their own interests – whether it’s a particular street, a school
group, or an event - they will all be available on a new, full searchable
‘Ripon Re-Viewed’ website.
In addition to the website, Ripon Civic Society will be talking to local
partners to develop themed exhibitions and presentations, so there will be
plenty of ‘Ripon Re-Viewed’ activities over the two years of the project.
David Winpenny, Chairman of Ripon
Civic Society, says, ‘This major project will open a new window on Ripon’s past
and preserve important pictures of life in the city for future
generations. I am delighted that the
Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded us this grant. Thank you to them, and to North Yorkshire
County Council, and especially to staff in its Library Service and Archive
Service, who have been very helpful in formulating the idea. Above all, thank you to the dedicated
members of the ‘Ripon Re-Viewed’ project committee for all their hard
work. Now the real work of caring for
the images begins!’
Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
“Saving our historic archives is important as they provide such a valuable
insight into the past. This project will provide volunteers and the community
with the opportunity to learn new skills and find out about what life was like,
and how Ripon has changed over the past 120 years.”
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for the Library & Archive
Service adds ‘The Ripon Re-Viewed project will enable everyone to enjoy and
benefit from this fascinating visual record of Ripon’s development through the
twentieth century. The project is a
great example of how the Library and Archive Service can work in partnership
with the local community to open up access to previously under used