The project originated in 2015 at the instigation of the JEP’s then editor, Chris Bright, and the newspaper’s historical photographic archive was then offered to Jersey Heritage on long-term deposit to mark the JEP’s 125th anniversary, so it could be made available online as a celebratory gift to the people of Jersey.
The images, which date from 1921 until April 2003 – when the JEP’s photographic department went fully digital – had been stored in glass plate form and as negative strips at the JEP’s office at Five Oaks.
Picture editor Peter Mourant and the JEP’s former photographic archivist Jan Hadley prepared the images for collection, and the transfer of the negatives in physical form to the Jersey Archive was completed in the spring of this year.
Eleven members of staff at the Archive, including a dedicated team of six people – along with more than 20 volunteers – have since scanned, repackaged, catalogued and indexed more than 200,000 images from 10,000 photographers’ assignments.
Today they are being officially made available online for the public to browse in digital form and people will also be able to interact with the digitised images by adding captions and comments to them.
Linda Romeril, archives and collections director at Jersey Heritage, said the JEP’s photographic archive is a unique reflection of the breadth of Island life showcasing political, social and architectural change over the past eight decades.
She said: ‘The photographic archive is an amazing record of cultural, social and community history in Jersey and the preservation of the material for current and future generations of Islanders is a key part of the overall aims of the Jersey Archive.
‘The project staff and volunteers have done an amazing job this year, and we’d also like to thank JEP picture editor Peter Mourant and Jan Hadley for all their help in getting the project off the ground.’
Mr Mourant said: ‘I am thrilled that the Jersey Archive have given us the opportunity to take our precious negatives out of a dusty cupboard and make them available for the public to enjoy.
‘The images will range from the momentous to the mundane, but all help to make up a unique pictorial record of Jersey life.
‘Islanders now have the chance to be reminded of former sporting or academic glory, or perhaps just their poor fashion choices!’
The project, which is being supported by the Jersey Heritage Patron’s Fund, is not expected to be finished until 2025 at the earliest.
Mrs Romeril added: ‘We will be working with the JEP to raise funds and to look at sponsorship opportunities to continue to work on the collection.’
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