Barnardo’s photographic archive under threat of destruction

News broke last week that the photographic archive of children’s charity Barnardo’s is to be destroyed as there is not enough physical space at its host institution.

British Photographic History explain that while the images in the collection will be digitised, the physical artefacts will either be given to a new home or destroyed.

As professional and amateur historians will attest, there is a big difference between the image of an object and the physical specimen itself. That such a historic collection as this is under threat should be concerning to all those with an interest in historical research. If something as significant as the Barnardo’s archive could possibly be destroyed, there could be grave consequences for other, less well-known collections.

The Campaign and the Voluntary Action History Society will be discussing this issue in more detail over the next few weeks. For now, there is a petition which has been set up to try to save the archive in its current physical form.

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