Treasure trove of personal pictures sheds light on Edinburgh's heritage

Edinburgh’s Libraries Service has teamed up with the Living Memory Association to extend its digital archive of images from the Capital’s past.

Edinburgh Collected, the library service’s online collection of photographic memories shared by the public, is to host more than 2500 pictures amassed by the Association. 

The Living Memory Association aims to bring people together through reminiscence and oral history work and since 2002 has been collecting old personal and family photographs, some dating as far back as 1850 and most of Edinburgh’s past.Living Memory Association picture

Now the collection has been added to Edinburgh Collected’s website, where the public can explore and comment on the pictures as well as sharing their own pictures and memories of the city. 

Councillor Ian Perry, Education, Children and Families Convener, said: “Edinburgh Collected is a wonderful resource for the public to share, discuss and search their memories of our city, so it’s fantastic that we’re now able to benefit from the Living Memory Association’s own collection’s rich and varied collection of images.

“From 1930’s baby portraits to Christmas parties of the ‘60’s, these photographs tell the story of our past through the eyes of those who live here, and I would encourage people to take a look and share their own memories.”

Miles Tubb, Living Memory Association Project Worker, said: “We are proud to say we have had our photo archive online since 2000 and in its 18th year, its 'coming of age,' it’s very exciting for us that it’s now part of Edinburgh Collected. 

“It’s always been our goal to make the archive as widely available as possible. Our presence on Edinburgh Collected means we can now be part of a network of archives. The opportunity for creating a platform for local and social history archives like ours is fantastic.”

Edinburgh’s Central Library already hosts the largest collection of material about the Capital in existence, which has been expanded digitally through Edinburgh Collected. It’s hoped that many more local history groups will contribute material to help the digital resource grow. 

As well as compiling photographs celebrating the richness of ordinary lives, Living Memory Association offers a range of services helping the community to share memories, including reminiscence sessions, tape digitising and creating ‘life story books’.

Amongst Living Memory Association's archive, which can now be viewed on the Edinburgh Collected website, are –

A Coronation Day street party captured on Newton Street, Gorgie, from 2nd June 1953

Portraits of husband and wife, midwife Helen Lynch (taken 1925) and Lance Corporal James Phillips (taken 1914)

An ‘entertaining evening’ pictured in 1965, either at the Hibs Supporters' Club or the Transport Club at Pilrig

Traders photographed outside Veitch, Moir & Erskine, Wholesale Fruit Merchants in 1925

The opening of the National Coal Board Computer Centre in Sighthill, 1963

Find Edinburgh Collected and the Living Memory Association’s memories online.

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