Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Aerial Reconnaissance Archive

In the news today is The Aerial Reconnaissance Archive (or TARA), one of the World's largest collections of aeriel photography. More than 10 million military photographs are stored in the archive, most of which were taken by surveillance aircraft in World War Two. The photo below shows the German battleship Bismarck which was sunk within a week of this picture being taken.

The collection is is being re-located from Keele University to a new home at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) in Edinburgh. It is hoped much of the archive will be now made available to the public online; an earlier attempt to do this was unsuccessful.

Historian Ian Daglish has provided the BBC with some interviews about this interesting collection which will be going out today. There is also an Audio Slideshow on the BBC web site, where Ian and retired Wing Commander Michael Mockford discuss the significance of just a few of the photographs from the war.