The London Picture Map has been created out of the world’s largest collection of drawings, paintings and photos.
This new website, ‘Collage, the London Picture Map’, is an exciting presentation of the enormous collection of images of London’s streets collated and curated by the London Metropolitan Archives and now hosted by them online. This new initiative is going to be a dynamic online collection, being added to from what it estimates could be over two million archived images. The London Picture Map includes 250,000 images of London dating from 1450 to the present day. The images are available to view via an interactive map so the viewer can select a street and see what images there are for that location.
Not all the images appear on the map so as not to overwhelm the viewer.
How to search the London Picture Map.
The viewer can type the location, for example we searched for Leadenhall and got a return of 411 images. Once an image is selected it is returned with a full description, it can be enlarged, downloaded as a pdf or printed for personal use only. If you wish to use the images for commercial use then you will need to apply for a licence.
The viewer can also search by subject, we searched for churches and got a return of 4683, wonderful paintings, sketches and photos but you can be more granular and still get a good set of results.
Using the map for family and local history projects.
What a great resource for adding images to your family history narrative. Everyone loves to compare streets they live in now with how they looked in the past. As long as you are using these images for your own private use it is possible to inject a new perspective of your ancestors lives. There might even be a lucky find, searching for images of Walnut Tree Walk Lambeth returned a photo of a shop that my husbands family worked in.
The fronts of buildings often change, windows and doors replaced, the office you are sitting in might have looked very different a hundred years ago. This is a great first step into making this incredible archive easily accessible and therefore used by the public. Curation is the key to these collections, we fund it out of the public purse so the more that can be done to make our national archives available to all, the better.