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Find a new home for the original photographs
  • Petitioned Maria Miller

This petition was delivered to:

Department for Culture Media and Sport
Maria Miller

Find a new home for the original photographs

    1. Geoff Barker
    2. Petition by

      Geoff Barker

      sydney, Australia

This photographic archive is one of the oldest, extant, dedicated photographic archives in the world. It is currently housed in Barkingside, East London and is under threat and needs saving. The archive dates back to 1874, and contains 500,000 images and 300 films of the visual history of the organisation, including their work overseas in Canada and Australia.
In the next few months, Barnardo's will be having their entire photographic archive digitised in Manchester. Due to space issues at Barnardo's, the company will then destroy the images unless an archive or museum can be persuaded to save these important historic documents.

Dr. Thomas Barnardo began photographing the 'waifs and strays' that came into his care at his first children's home in Stepney causeway as early as 1875, employing two photographers, Barnardo preceded most prisons and asylums by seeing the benefits of photography for institutional record keeping. He soon came into legal trouble for faking the condition of the children for the purposes of publicity.
The importance of these beautiful images - not just to photographic history but to the study of archive practices and British social history - cannot be underestimated.

Contact gavinmaitland80@hotmail.com or the head archivist at martine.king@barnardos.org.uk

Maria Miller, Department for Culture Media and Sport
This photographic archive is one of the oldest, extant, dedicated photographic archives in the world. It is under threat and needs saving.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Why are the Barnado's original photo archives being mothballed?

      Geoff Barker
      Petition Organizer

      Pete Boswell of Save Photo Ltd (see - http://www.linkedin.com/in/peterboswell ) commented that he felt there was no reason why both the original analogue and digital assets couldn't coexist, but thinks a digitisation project of this size and scale was likely be funded by one of the 2 major genealogy players and thus the digital asset may be subject to a long (10 year+) commercial license agreement. This suggests the originals are not envisaged as a part of any plan to monetise the collection .... I personally find this a very worrying trend for non-government image collections in general.

    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Marilyn Nichols OREM, UT
      • 5 months ago

      Our grandfather was a British Home Child and I would love to find a picture of him. Maybe the Mormon Church would help in saving such a treasure.

      • 5 months ago

      Family Reasons

    • Pat Burt SPAIN
      • 5 months ago

      My grandfather was a Barnados child. Went into their care as a baby was then fostered then at the age of 11 sent to Canada. As yet we have no information about him this we are waiting on from Barnados. This is historic documents and should be saved.

    • Pat Burt SPAIN
      • 5 months ago

      My Grandfather was a Barnados boy an at present we havent any information from Barnados on him. From being a baby then fostered by BARNADOS was sent to Canada in 1990/91. So we want these documents saved not just for us but for everyone whos relative was a Barnados child.

      • 5 months ago

      My wife's late grandfather was sent to Canada by Barnardos in 1888


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