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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011
Help preserve Leeds' photographic heritage
Briggate
Shopping on Briggate - will it look like this in twenty years time?

A photography website is championing the preservation of images of Yorkshire's urban landscape.

The aim is to establish a collection of fast-disappearing, everyday street scenes.

FotoLibra is asking photographers to submit photographs of ordinary streetscapes.

They want to document traditional shop fronts and buildings before they are demolished to make way for new developments.

Recent examples of disappearing historic buildings in Leeds include the demolition of the first White Cloth Hall on Kirkgate and the Alf Cooke Printworks on Hunslet Road.

Fotolibra want to create a permanent, continuing record of street views complete with traffic, passers-by and advertising.

Gwyn Headley, founder of FotoLibra and author of five books about Britain's architectural heritage, explained:

"The unique character of some of our towns and cities is rapidly being lost as new commercial and retail developments change the face of urban Britain."

"The growth of so-called 'clone towns', with identikit chain stores replacing independent shops and small businesses, means that the appearance of our streets is changing forever."

Briggate 1930
Briggate 1930 - photo courtesy leodis.net

"We want to build a local archive of images of our disappearing, urbanised world, complete with shop windows, cars, fashions, hairstyles and even advertising billboards — all of which date the photograph to a specific moment in time and one that can never be recaptured."

"The preservation and recording of historic buildings gets, quite rightly, a lot of attention but the ordinary streetscape slips under the radar. We aim to make sure that our everyday heritage is not forgotten. We are particularly interested in photographs taken before 1980."

Photographers can upload their images free to the FotoLibra website and will earn fees on images subsequently used for commercial purposes.

FotoLibra is the first open access, free membership picture library, where photographers can sell their photographs while always retaining their copyright.





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