How to find photographs

All the photographs in the collection are cross-referenced so there are various ways to search for, and find, a picture. Here are some examples of how to locate photographs:


If you're looking for something very specific such as a picture of a particular thing - a dome, for example - you can use the search facility. Type 'dome' into the search box and you'll see options in the form of a gallery of 12 slides.

The total number of photographs matching your search term is displayed top right. If this is a large number, you might want to change how you view the photographs. For example, you can select to see more slides, up to a maximum of 40, per page. Or you can change to thumbnails. Thumbnails are smaller than slides so you can view more photographs at a glance. As with slides, you decide how many thumbnails are displayed on each page. The default is 24, but you can have up to 96.

You can also sort your options by 'position' (order the photographs were added to the collection); 'name' (alphabetical title of the photograph); 'location' (alphabetical place the photograph was taken) and 'date' (year, month, day). A word of warning titles of photographs do not always begin with a useful word!

You can also filter your search further by exploring pictures taken by specific photographers or donated by the same contributor.


There is also an Advanced search where you can use lots of approaches to find specific photographs.

For example, if you've seen the photograph before, type any details you remember into the relevant boxes and then modify your search. A tip, if you know the photographer or contributor, simply select the name from the list and click search.


If you want to see all the pictures in the collection then browse the portfolio. You can choose to view the “entire collection” or pick from the themes e.g. “Shops & Shopping”. All the photographs have been assigned to one or more themes so don't be surprised if they keep cropping up.

When browsing the portfolio, you can also filter a theme further by exploring pictures taken by specific photographers or donated by the same contributors. You can also choose what size of photographs (slides or thumbnails) to display on pages - and how many.


You also have the option of viewing a Curator’s choice. These are photographs from the collection that guest curators have selected as their personal favourites.

Other curated choices are groups of photographs that simply belong together - either they came from the same source, like the “Backyard Brighton” images or the curator sees something in each of them that makes them work together, like the selection of pictures in volume 1 of the book.

The Curator’s choice pictures can be viewed as a gallery or played as a slideshow.


If you want to view photographs by the date they were taken you can select a decade from the timeline - 1960s - for example. You'll get an overview and all photographs taken in the 1960s along with a list of years. Be warned though that there are not necessarily photographs for each year, although we trust that these gaps will be filled as more photographs are donated to the collection.

You might notice that a decade page shows more photographs than the total number displayed on year pages. This is because some photographs can be identified as, for example, 1930s, although the actual year the photograph was taken is unknown.


If you want to view pictures taken in a specific area, go to the map and zoom in on the place you're interested in. Of course you can just click on photographs shown at the opening zoom level, but you'll be missing out as you'll find more and more as you drill down. You can also choose to view mapped pictures by decade where more photographs are visible by default.

Please note that not all photographs in the collection are shown on the map. This is usually because the location is not known.