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South West Image Bank collections

SWIB's collections hold one of the largest bodies of photographic records in the region.

From August 2018, SWIB’s collections are no longer available to access on site due to ongoing work to prepare collections for relocation to The Box. Once open, the public will be able to see the collections throughout The Box galleries and search in the Cottonian research room.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the following photographers and collections:

The photographs of SWIB number some 170 individual collections and close to one million negatives.

The main photographic collection from SWIB forms part of the Western Morning News (WMN) collection of original plates, negatives and transparencies. The earliest image is dated 1924, with the vast majority being a consistent run from the 1960s through to 2002. The Plymouth and West Devon Record Office (PWDRO) also have part of the WMN collection which you can see and search in their online catalogue.

We also have many other photographic collections, dating back to the 1870s through to the modern day. These collections have been deposited by local businesses and societies, photographers and members of the public either as permanent deposits or donated to the archive to enable scanning work to take place.

In recent years, active encouragement has led to modern day photographs being deposited. This helps to ensure that photographs of the region today will be preserved as archives of the future.