Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is home to thousands of photographs that depict the people and places of Horsham District, as well as images brought back to Horsham from around the world. The images range from sports team photos, travel souvenirs and family portraits, to street surveys and records of buildings. The photographic collections are an extremely valuable resource for local historians as they chart the changing fashions, activities, landscapes and sights of the area and its people.
The photographs in our collections range in date from the 1860s through to present day, and encompass the work of professional photographers through to the family snaps of local people. Many of the images have come to us via donation and the level of information that donors are able to give us varies. Several local photographers have donated their entire archives to us, along with accompanying newspaper clippings and documents, so we know lots about the images and their subjects. Other items in the collection have been found in antiques shops and house clearances and therefore little is known about them.
Our dedicated volunteers have been cataloging, researching and scanning the photographs in our collections for more than 20 years and a great deal of work has been done to make them available to the public. We hope to develop an online collections search in the future, thus ensuring that this hard work is accessible to as many people as possible.
In order to highlight the variety and importance of our photographic collections our staff and volunteers have each selected a small number of images that are of particular interest to them. Each panel in the exhibition is dedicated to the selections of one member of the team, and they explain, in their own words, why they have made their choices. We hope that this will not only demonstrate the breadth of the collections, but also emphasise the importance of the work that our volunteers do every day.