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Oblique Aerials - The Aerofilms Historic Collection is the best and most significant collection of oblique aerial photography of the United Kingdom remaining in private hands.
Its chronological and geographical coverage is superb and documents the face of Britain dating from 1919 to recent years, providing unique evidence of a period of intense and unparalleled change.
The collection covers the countryside, industrial and urban landscapes, archaeological sites and historic buildings and charts the growth of new towns and the spread of motorways across the landscape. Almost every community is represented, many with a series of views taken over the decades showing how cities, towns and villages have changed and grown.
Greg Simmons, Managing Director of Blom Aerofilms, said: "We are delighted that this part of our company’s heritage will be preserved for future generations, while we build on our history with a major new Europe-wide photography initiative.”
Mike Evans, Head of Archives at English Heritage’s National Monuments Record, said: “The collection will be of immense value to a wide range of people including researchers, teachers, local and family history historians, geographers, archaeologists, architects, planners, landscape historians and all those interested in how the face of Britain has changed over the last century.”
Carole Souter, Director of NHMF, said: “Some of our nation’s most memorable 20th-century events are documented in this unusual collection and this National Heritage Memorial Fund grant has helped save it for future generations.”
The fragile prints, negatives and documentation which comprise the collection will now be transferred to the specialist archival storage provided by English Heritage and its partners. This will ensure not only that the collection can be used and enjoyed by the public, but also that it is preserved for future generations of researchers.
English Heritage and its partners have begun planning for the comprehensive cataloguing, conservation and digitisation of the collection.
The transfer and initial sorting of the archive will take some months, and as soon as access to the photographs can be provided details will be placed on the EH website.