Ref No352 ENG
TitleCity Engineer's Photographic Collection
DescriptionThis collection is of immense value nationally, as well as locally. It is a detailed record of almost every aspect of the development of the City, which was, for much of the period in question, the second commercial city in England. It records comprehensively the work of the City Council, which in the first half of the twentieth century provided almost all services to its inhabitants. These included many services and facilities such as water supply, electricity supply and hospitals. It is also particularly important on a national level for its recording of the city's often pioneering work in town planning, housing, public health and transport. It also records in detail the multi-faceted and outstanding work of Professor John Alexander Brodie, City Engineer from 1898 to 1926.

The collection consists of 158,383 photographs and there is both a negative and contact print for most of the photographs. Most of the earliest negatives, up to about 1960, are glass plate. The first 9,400 in the series are whole plate, whilst the later series are 7" x 5" with some 5" x 4". At some point in the past some of the glass negatives were scrapped. However, an almost complete series of high quality contact print survives. The later part of the collection is a mixture of 35mm and 3" x 2" negatives. The photographs were initially used primarily to record and support the work of the City Engineer, Surveyor, Housing Department and Medical Officer of Health, showing everyday work such as road improvements, refuse collection and laying sewers. There is also documentation of major projects, such as the infilling of George's Dock to build the Liver Building, or the reclamation of land to construct Otterspool Promenade. They also sometimes recorded the work of other departments, events and general developments in the City. This wider coverage increased exponentially from the 1940's onwards. The photographs are black and white up to the late 1970's and colour thereafter. A total of 20,000 photographs were taken up to 1960, but by 1970 the overall total had increased to 45,000 and by 1980 to 90,800.
Date01/1897 to 11/1995
CopyrightThe copyright of this collection belongs to Liverpool City Council
Access_ConditionsAccess will be granted to any accredited reader
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