Ordnance Survey Circa 1871

Stepping back in time...

\\ I've just received, from Ordnance Survey, their map of the Longdendale pass and surrounding moors that was originally surveyed around 1871. This map shows the original sites of the long closed Crowden, Woodhead and Dunford Bridge stations as well as the route of the line between the Woodhead tunnels and Penistone. As a reference piece this map will be massively useful for locating areas of interest long since lost to history but it is, in its own right, visually stunning. This map, hand drawn near 150 years ago, when satellite imaging was beyond a dream, the fact that the people of Ordnance Survey were able to create this level of detail is stunning. Although this is not the original map, merely a reproduction, it is still amazing to look at.

\\ With 1500 Volts DC I want to include not only my images along side archive images but documents like this map. I want to tell a visual story of this route and documents like this have become a visual spectacle in their own right. The colour of the paper, the hand drawn lettering, the almost art-like design of the landscape has become something to admire with age. With this in mind I have decided to see what other documents of the past I can find, relating to this route that themselves may be just as visually interesting. To this end I have decided local and national archives would be a good place to start and where better than one of the largest railway archives in Europe, the National Railway Museums; National Collection in York. In the coming weeks I hope to make my way over there and see what they have.

\\ Using materials such as this map however won't be straight forward, re-appropriation of other peoples work has a stigma about it that can be hard to break. The advantage of using large scale archives means that they are more likely to have worked with artists before and so have a greater understanding of copyright and licensing. For example, should I decided to use the Ordnance Survey map within this project, as a display piece, I will be making contact with Ordnance Survey to assess how I can use it without violating their ownership rights. Staying on top of ownership rights will be one of the harder aspects of this project but not one that cannot be manged and overcome.


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