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Landmark Photography Project Preserves Blackburn's History


A landmark collection of historic black and white photography is to be digitised, preserving Blackburn’s social, industrial and architectural heritage through the lens of acclaimed photographers, Wally and Howard Talbot.

Father and son, Wally and Howard Talbot both worked as news photographers in Blackburn and took thousands of images from across Lancashire, collated in ‘The Talbot Archive.’

The archive catalogues Lancashire life from the 1930s through to the 1990s and capture events such visits from The Queen, Winston Churchill, Mick Jagger and Mahatma Ghandi.

Howard Talbot said: “I am absolutely delighted that our collection will be preserved for future generations to see.

“My father, Wally, and I worked across all areas of news, sports and commercial photography so the collection showcases a wide range of local people, places and activities.

“Each image captures a snapshot of Lancashire life and celebrates places of significance within Blackburn’s history, many of which have since changed beyond recognition.

Howard added: “Many of the images have come from our private collection, which we hadn’t initially intended to share.

“It is very satisfying to know that these images will be shared with local people, especially as many will have personal connections and memories of Blackburn’s heritage.” 

John Harrison, Head of Art and Society at the University Centre at Blackburn College said: “The Talbot Archive is such an important collection of social documentary photography.

“We are very proud to be part of this project along with Blackburn Museum as it is vital that we preserve these images for future generations.

“Wally and Howard took thousands of images and to digitise the whole catalogue will require an investment by Blackburn College: already our staff and students at the University Centre at Blackburn College have so far, scanned and edited over 6,000 images.

John added: “We are passionate about creating links between education and the local community.

“The Talbot Archive will provide our students with invaluable experience in partaking in landmark projects.

“Working on key research projects such as this helps to explain why 9 out of 10 graduates from the University Centre at Blackburn College are in work or further study within six months of graduating*”.

The Talbot Archive images will be shared in a celebratory event, The Talbot Conference, at The University Centre at Blackburn College on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th February 2018.

The all-day event is free, open to the public and will feature talks by acclaimed photographer Professor Paul Hill MBE.


To find out more information and book your place, visit


*Destination of Leavers of Higher Education data (2013 – 2017), known outcomes

11 Jan 2018, 13:40 PM