What is the Vickers Photographic Archive?
An illustrated project overview is available.
The Vickers Photographic Archive consists of 9000 glass plate negatives, 1500 celluloid film negatives and 1000 positive glass slides.
The images were taken by professional photographers employed by Barrow Shipyard and span a period of almost a century of work at the Yard from the 1870s until the 1960s.
In 1998, following the donation of the Archive to the Museum, funding was secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund and European Regional Development Fund. These grants would enable the research, conservation and digitisation of the Archive to make it publicly accessible in three ways: on computer terminals in the Museum, on the Internet, and through the sale of prints.
Ownership of the Archive and existing copyrights were transferred to Barrow Museum Service.
Can I use Vickers Photographic Archive images on my web site?
These images are the property of Barrow Museum Service, and are not to be reproduced anywhere, including the internet, without prior permission from The Vickers Photographic Archive. A reproduction charge of £50 per image will be pursued for all unauthorised web site use.
How do I get permission to reproduce an image e.g. in a book, on television or on the internet?
We have a system of charges for reproducing our images e.g. in a book, on television or on an Internet site. If you want to reproduce an image please write to or email Sabine Skae, Collections and Exhibitions Officer, stating the usage required and we will send you the appropriate forms for completion.
What are our terms and conditions of supply?
For Terms and Conditions of Supply of Images from the Vickers Photographic Archive please follow the link.
Why can't I just get a photocopy of an image?
The collection has few photographic prints - the images are nearly all on original glass plate negatives, which have been scanned by our technician to create a digital image. All the images are stored digitally - each time someone orders a copy we print it directly from the high resolution (TIFF) file, ensuring high quality reproduction of the original image.
Can I see more of the collection if I visit the Museum?
The Museum has three computer kiosks as part of our 'Shipbuilders to the World' exhibition. The kiosks contain thousands of images and can be zoomed to reveal more detail. The computers also contain 'history files' revealing more information about the images. In addition visitors can view four interactive experiences, which include touring the passenger liner Oriana (1959), exploring a Second World War submarine and finding out more about the experiences of the men and women who worked in the Shipyard.
Can I see the the original negatives?
One of the objectives of the Archive Project was to preserve the collection whilst increasing access. Now there are high quality digital scans available, with public access on the gallery kiosks, there is no need to physically handle the original negatives. The collection has now been packaged for long term storage and Museum Staff only access the digital copies.
Is there a difference between the quality of the images on the internet and the print images?
Yes! The images you see on the screen here have been specifically resized and adjusted to give an impression of the image without compromising the copyright needs of the archive. All printed images will be produced from high resolution scans of the original material, giving a photo quality result.
Do you sell any other products?
Yes! A variety of gifts, local books and maritime related goods are available from the Dock Museum Shop.