Express & Star archive a big hit with students

Posted Monday, October 12, 2015 by Chris Leggett under News

Students from the University of Wolverhampton had the chance to handle historic photos from the archive of the Express & Star as part of the annual freshers fair. Undergraduates attending the event at the MD Building in Wulfruna Street on Thursday were also able to have their say on plans to digitise the photographs and publish them on a free website.

More than 100 students chose the photographic topics that interested them most by placing stickers on to a voting chart.

A further 35 questionnaires were completed by visitors to give detailed responses on how they would like to see the archive presented online.

Volunteers working on the project gave students the opportunity to hold a selection of the prints which it is hoped will be preserved.

The collection has an estimated one million photographs stored, covering events and people featured in the newspaper throughout the 20th Century.

Britain’s biggest selling regional newspaper is working with leading organisations to digitise the images to make them available to the public for free online.

A partnership group set up by the Express & Star with the University of Wolverhampton and the city archives was awarded development funding of £59,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year.

Consultants Tricolor are using part of the funding to engage with the public through events like the freshers fair to ensure the digital archive is used by as wide a range of people as possible.

Gina Jefimik, who works for Express & Star publisher Midland News Association as a communications assistant, was among those manning the archive stall.

She said: “It was amazing to see so many students interested in the photo archive project.

“The students’ responses to the photographs confirm to us that the collection is worth digitising as people would like to see these images preserved.

“It is a long term project but many of the visitors were keen to see these images available online as quickly as possible.”

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