The Tate has called on the public to help identify the locations of almost 1,000 photographs of Britain by artist John Piper as part of a massive digitisation project

Photograph of shop front of Garnett and Hallmey, possibly in Derbyshire
c.1930s-1980s
©The Piper Estate

The Tate plans to publish nearly 6,000 of artist John Piper’s black & white photos – which he captured over 50 years, from the 1930s to the 1980s, when the museum acquired his archive.

Archivists have also urged people to send in photos of what the places Piper photographed look like today, by uploading them to the project’s website.

Castle.webPhotograph of a building, possibly a castle, in Scotland
c.1930s-1980s ©The Piper Estate

Fascinated by remote or forgotten places, Piper – who died in 1992 – first took photos of ruined abbeys, churches, old shop fronts and country inns when he worked with John Betjeman on the Shell County Guides.

The Tate has today published thousands of previously unpublished images on its website, celebrating Britain’s countryside and architectural heritage.

Though the museum group knows where many of them were taken, it has called on the public to help researchers identify the locations of hundreds of others as part of a project to digitise work by more than 25 artists.

A Tate spokesperson said: ‘While many of the places depicted were documented by Piper when Tate acquired the collection… and research is ongoing, locations in nearly 1,000 photographs remain to be identified…

‘Tate is inviting online visitors to identify the unknown locations in the photographs, spotting local buildings, landscapes or even their homes, helping to complete this historic collection.’

People are urged to email archive.enquiries@tate.org.uk with details of unidentified locations, referencing the Tate Gallery Archive (TGA) number for each shot.

On its website, the Tate adds: ‘We’d also love to see how the places that Piper photographed look now. Upload your own content to our website by creating an album and don’t forget to make it public.’

For further details visit www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/john-piper-missing-locations

Mill.webPhotograph of a mill, possibly in Derbyshire
c.1930s-1980s ©The Piper Estate

Church.webPhotograph of a church, possibly in Badminton, Gloucestershire
c.1930s-1980s ©The Piper Estate

Chapel.webPhotograph of a chapel, possibly in Stamford, Lincolnshire
c.1930s-1980s ©The Piper Estate

Building in Derbyshire.webPhotograph of a building, possibly in Derbyshire
c.1930s-1980s ©The Piper Estate