16 May 2011

My Leicestershire Digital Archive

Bovril Ghostsign in Leicester by Dennis Duggan
Photo: Dennis Duggan

Colin Hyde from the Centre for Urban History at Leicester University sent me an email with a fascinating link today. It is to a project he has been curating over the last couple of years which features an unrivalled collection of Ghostsigns from the county of Leicestershire.

What is most interesting about the c.250 images in the archive are those that capture some of the signs’ decay over time. The above example for Bovril shows how the sign looked in 1996. Below is the same sign in 2006 where it is now fading even further to reveal the older sign underneath. It is great to see these changes, as they are rarely found in such a vivid format.

Bovril Ghostsign in Leicester by Colin Hyde
Photo: Colin Hyde

The Ghostsigns images are part of a wider collection of material which now forms ‘My Leicestershire Digital Archive’. This includes old radio recordings, photos of buildings demolished during slum clearance and other material from a number of societies and associations. I’d recommend a browse for the Ghostsigns alone and it is interesting to think what this number of examples in a single county implies for estimates of the total number across the entire country, let alone the world…

I hope that it might be possible to in some way include some of this material in the HAT Ghostsigns Archive, especially some of the older photographs which capture signs closer to their former glory.

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