More than 8,000 photos taken by UK photographer Arthur Cooper have been rescued from a skip, digitized and shared online by Coventry University. A group of volunteers has spent hours cataloging the images, trying to work out where they were taken and who is in them.
From 1940 - 1960, Arthur Cooper documented the UK city of Coventry during and after the second world war, capturing the devastating effects of aerial bombings. Many of the photos in this incredible collection show bombed-out churches, marches and protests, as well as everyday life in a central English city.
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The collection was found in a skip on a street in Coventry almost a decade ago and thanks to the Coventry Digital initiative, these historically significant images are finally getting the attention they deserve. The archive was found with no additional information, so project director Dr. Ben Kyneswood has asked local community groups, churches and organizations to help uncover the mystery of the images.
In the original story posted on BBC News West Midlands, Martin Williams, the chairman of the Friends of Coventry Cathedral Group said, “As soon as I opened the files I thought, ‘this is just marvelous'. It was when I saw early historic photos that I’d never seen before I got very excited.”
Arthur Cooper worked as a press photographer in Coventry for 25 years, during which time his photos were published by Midland Daily News and Coventry Evening Telegraph. His collection of glass negatives was found after his death and MirrorPix rescued, cleaned and digitized them all.
With such a huge number of images to sort through, Dr. Ben Kyneswood has invited anyone interested in helping to get in touch. If you lived in Coventry during this time or know someone who might be interested, access to the full gallery can be requested here.