Mystery images from the past

In 2016, a former colleague, John, latterly Team Leader at Oxgangs Library, mentioned to us that he had ‘inherited’ some large glass negatives. They had been found in a cupboard in his flat in Claremont Crescent a few years earlier. He didn’t know anything about where the negatives had come from or even what they were of, but their size suggested they must be quite old. Some were broken and he offered us the opportunity to digitise them before they deteriorated further. We’ve brought them together in an exhibition on Capital Collections.

At first glance they didn’t give away any obvious clues. There were several images of gentlemen posing proudly with trophies, others of Army units and nondescript rows of houses.

Bowler with Steeples Trophy

When zooming in on the images small clues began to emerge. A gentleman poses proudly with a trophy, and on it you can just make out the words Musselburgh, Steeples and shield. As there were other images of bowlers, could it be a bowling trophy? Looking up bowling clubs in Musselburgh we discovered that at one time there had been four bowling clubs in Musselburgh. We took a chance and emailed Musselburgh Bowling Club to see if they could help. We received a reply from the club secretary and he confirmed that there was a Steeples Trophy competed for by clubs in the Musselburgh Local Bowling Association. Looking further there was other connections to Musselburgh. One was an image of what we’d thought was a large house or school. A colleague who knows the area saw the image and said “that’s Crolla’s!” A wee bit more digging and we found out that it had once had been Stuart’s Net Mill, situated beside the River Esk and a company which at one time, had employed over 800 people in cotton processing and rope manufacturing.

Stuart’s Net Mill, Musselburgh

There were two other images that looked like they might be of Army units. However, looking closer, you can make out the collar badge and so after a bit more investigation, we discovered that it was a Police unit, the East Lothian (Haddingtonshire) Constabulary.

East Lothian (Haddingtonshire) Constabulary.

Although some of the images have been identified, many haven’t. Some of the group images have the same background, so we assume that they were all taken in the same studio. Although, some like this one below, are taken outside.

Unidentified wedding party

This is where we need your help. You can view all the images, both identified and mystery ones, in an exhibition on Capital Collections.

Do you recognise any of the people or places in the photographs?
If so, please get in touch. You could help us fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle by contacting informationdigital@edinburgh.gov.uk

Advertisements

Edinburgh Photographic Society survey 1912-1914

Edinburgh Photographic Society Section was established in 1899, and over the early years of the 20th century created a collection of photographs of streets and buildings of Edinburgh.

It was proposed that 2 copies of each photograph were created, one to be given to the City of Edinburgh and one to be retained by the Edinburgh Photographic Society.

The images in our latest Capital Collections exhibition feature Ward XIV (George Square) and most of the photos were taken between 1912 and 1914. There were some earlier images collected, but not taken by the EPS Survey Group members.

Many of the photographs feature places that are still very much recognisable today but there are also many that no longer exist.

Do you recognise this area? Taken in 1904 you might be able to spot the street sign that says Tarvit Street. These buildings were probably demolished very shortly after this photograph was taken as two years later the King’s Theatre opened its doors on the site.

Leven Street, east side

The picture below shows an area that has changed quite a bit, well, at least one side of the street! This is looking towards Earl Grey Street and on the corner on the left-hand side, is Central Hall.

Earl Grey Street looking north from Brougham Street

The cottages below were demolished and built on the site that was the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary College. Nowadays it is known simply as Summerhall, an arts hub for theatre, music, art and literary events throughout the year. It even has its own gin distillery and microbrewery.

Cottages, Summerhall

Many would think that somewhere like the Grassmarket with its original old buildings wouldn’t have changed very much. However as you can see, this impressive looking building, the Corn Exchange, is no longer there. It stood on the site that is now the Apex Hotel.

The Corn Exchange , Grassmarket

Visit Capital Collections to see the full set of amazing photographs from the George Square Survey by the members of the Edinburgh Photographic Society.

‘What if?’ Art Library exhibition for July 2017

The latest Art & Design Library exhibition poses the question, ‘What if?’

We know that homelessness is not inevitable. We know that together we can end it. In Crisis’ landmark 50th year, Art in Crisis considers the proposition ‘What If’ through the eyes of their clients, with pieces examining the past, considering the present and looking to the future.

To capture these symbolic images, Crisis clients and local photographer Alicia Bruce were inspired by classic Dutch still life paintings and still life photography.

The Art & Design Library exhibition forms part of Art in Crisis’ national programme of public events presenting compelling, original artwork made by artists experiencing homelessness.

‘What If?’ exhibition by Art in Crisis runs from 4 to 29 July 2017.

 

Art Library exhibition for November

The Edinburgh Photographic Society has regularly held group shows in the Art & Design Library for a number of years and each year they come back with a vivid and thought-provoking exhibition showcasing a wide variety of work by its many members – from studio and portrait photographs, to nature and creative digital photography.

Loup of Fintry by Doug Berndt ARPS

Loup of Fintry by Doug Berndt ARPS

The EPS has an annual programme of courses and lectures, with regular club competitions and extensive facilities at their New Town base. It is a friendly club – always happy to see new faces, so if you’re interested in finding out more please visit www.edinburghphotographicsociety.co.uk for more details and make sure to come along and see the show, running from 1 – 29 November in the Central Art & Design Library.

Myplace: Edinburgh Competition

There are still a few days left to enter the MyPlace: Edinburgh competition.  For inspiration here are some of the entries so far.

David Hume Tower in twilight

David Hume Tower in twilight

Union Canal Edinburgh

Steal Softly Thru Snow

Statue in Garden

Frozen in green

From Blackford Hill

From Blackford Hill

See all the entries in the MyPlace: Edinburgh scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected

Terms and Conditions

The photographs you add are your own work
2 Agree to Edinburgh Collected Terms and Conditions
3 Place or building must be within the City of Edinburgh Council boundary
4 Add the tag ‘competition16’  to your memory to enter the competition
5 Closing date for entries Sunday 10 July

There is still time to visit the Edinburgh Pavilion at the Pop-Up Cities Expo until 17thJuly to see some of the entries!  Follow us at #popupedin

 

Art Library exhibition for July

Edinburgh LoFi’s new exhibition Plastic Colour takes over in the Art and Design Library for July. The exhibition sees the group return to the techniques and technology which inspired their inception. Taking the most basic photographic equipment – a lightproof box and some colour sensitive film – the members have applied imagination and experience to produce a range of exciting new works which push the medium, molding and modelling light.

plasticcolour-monitorThe Edinburgh LoFi group was started seven years ago at the Beyond Words photography bookshop to promote and explore film photography at its most amazing. The group is now run collectively.

The group meets once a month to share their – traditional, alternative and film – photography experiences, run events, hold workshops and plan exhibitions. The exhibition at the Art and Design Library contains work by: Olive Dean, Brittonie Fletcher, Mary Gordon, Alison Millar, Elaine Robson, Judith Rowan, John Sumpter, Graeme Pow, and Leigh Young.

The exhibition runs from 4 – 29 July 2016.

Art Library exhibition for May

May’s exhibition in the Art Library is a lovely collection of photographs by Amelia Modrak.

The Value of RealityAmelia tells us about her work:

I started taking photographs in my late twenties using disposable cameras. I enjoyed taking pictures of landscapes and urban architecture. Later on, in my thirties, I got an Olympus Camera as a farewell gift by my workmates, and I started taking photographs of more things, especially details or things that caused me some type of emotion. Currently, in my forties, I am working on everyday life images that embody the beauty and misery of reality.

Amelia doesn’t digitally enhance or alter any of her images, as she wishes to portray things as they are, hence the exhibition title: The Value of Reality.

The Value of Reality will be on display in the Art & Design Library, 3 – 30 May 2016.