British photographic history

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Petition: Protect the Library of Birmingham's photography collections

Photographer and teacher Paul Hill MBE has launched a petition to protect the Library of Birmingham's internationally important historic and contemporary photography collections and archives. They are in danger of being closed and mothballed and the photography collections team will be made redundant. 

The petition states: Birmingham City Council is proposing swingeing cuts at the recently opened Library of Birmingham reducing the whole library hours to 40 hours per week and staffing by just over 50 percent by April 2015.

When I, and other depositors, who include such renowned British photographic figures as Daniel Meadows, Martin Parr, John Blakemore, Brian Griffin, Vanley Burke, John Myers, Nick Hedges, and Val Williams, agreed to the library acquiring our archives or collections we were assured that they would be accessible to the public as well as specialist researchers.

As the proposal currently stands there will be no Photography Collections Team. Indeed there may not be anyone left with any specialist knowledge of these nationally and internationally significant collections in the near future. There will be no conservation department to undertake the vital work of preserving these fragile treasures, there will be little if any cataloguing undertaken, and the exhibition programme will disappear entirely.

The emphasis in the new structure is on maintaining “counter transactions” to the exclusion of other activities.  

To read more about what is being proposed: and BPH's previous report here:

To sign click here:

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