Preserving glass plate negatives

Glass plate negatives are subject to unique damage and deterioration.  Glass is very fragile and can easily crack or break, the emulsion on the glass can flake and the glass plates are also subject to damage from water, fungus and mould.  The risk of damage and the rate of deterioration of glass plates negatives can be greatly reduced if correct storage techniques and handling methods…

Digitising Glass Plate Negatives

Before the widespread use of photographic film, glass was used as a medium in photography.  Thin glass plate was coated on one side with a light sensitive emulsion of silver salts, which was then exposed through a glass plate camera.  The George Street Photography Collection contains over 3000 digitised glass plate negatives. Due to their…

Performances by the Pilkington Players

The images in the George Street Photography collection show life around St Helens in the 1950s.  At that time, many residents were employed by Pilkington’s, and if 10 or more people had a shared interest, they could create a group or society. Due to it’s great popularity, the dramatic section known as the ‘Pilkington Players’…

Janette’s picture perfect discovery

For St Helens resident Janette Leatherbarrow, a recent Heritage Open Day celebration event at Central Library proved to be a worthwhile experience when she uncovered several family photographs from over 61 years ago.   As part of Heritage Open Days 2016 in September, Janette, from Windle, attended St Helens Central Library to view the St…

Discovering hidden history

In October 1984, when 16 George Street was a pet shop, staff from St. Helens Local History and Archives were contacted to rescue 4,000 glass negatives from a sealed-up backroom. Unfortunately, many of the negatives were damaged and broken, however around 3000 remained intact and were carefully collected and returned to the library.  Later when the…